Monday, August 10, 2009

The Sambal Series - Sambal belacan kangkong

sambal belacan kangkong recipe

Kangkong is one of those vegetables which I've always known by its Malay name. I think in school we learned that its anglicized name is water convolvulus - not a name that rolls off the tongue easily (try saying it several times). Perhaps it doesn't like to be called that either because it's also known as water morning glory and water spinach. But no need to look for it in California by any of those monikers. If you go to the Chinese supermarket, it's labeled "on choy". It has more aliases than a secret agent. In fact, in might be one. According to this wiki, it is technically illegal to grow, possess or move kangkong (even interstate), but because it goes by so many names, it slips pass customs easily.

I am of course delighted that I can enjoy this leafy green here. And my favorite way to eat it is to cook it with sambal belacan (and ideally with savored sambal stingray). So I present sambal belacan kangkong as dish #2. Despite its frail appearance, the kangkong holds its own against the pungent sambal belacan.

This might seem strange but I added a picture below of how the kangkong is to be cut. The leaves shouldn't be stripped at the base of their stalks. Part of the stem should be included so that you get some crunch as well. I used the sambal belacan sent to me by mum, but I've provided a recipe for it below. Red serrano chiles are a little elusive where I am. If it's the same for you, use any red chilies like fresno or holland chilies. Neither are as hot as serrano and the sambal belacan will not taste exactly the same, but they make decent substitutes. It is also best to use kalamansi lime if you are able to get some; otherwise you can use reguar lime. Dried shrimps come in different sizes, but it does not matter which one you choose because they are to be chopped into small pieces.

sambal belacan kangkong recipe

sambal belacan kangkong recipe

Sambal belacan kangkong

1 lb kangkong
1 oz dried shrimps, chopped
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of sambal belacan
3 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons oil

Sambal belacan
5-6 fresh red serrano chilies, sliced and do not de-seed completely
2-inch piece of belacan, toasted until fragrant
4 teaspoons of lime juice
peel of ½ a lime, sliced thinly

1. Pound all the ingredients of the sambal belacan but not too finely.

2. Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium high heat. Fry the shallots until they are caramelized - about 3-4 minutes. Add the dried shrimps and the garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute then add the sambal belacan and continue frying for 1 minute. Put in the kangkong. Mix it well with the rempah or spice paste already in the wok. Add the water. Cook until the kangkong leaves are wilted.

Serve with rice.


Jo said...

Yummy, one of our fav fried veggie dishes. Simple but yet full of flavour. You've even added dried shrimps to your kangkong sambal belachan.

Lisa said...

I love this dish! Do you do carryout?

high over happy said...

Jo - yup, my favourite stall in Singapore adds dried shrimp and the texture only improves the sambal!

Lisa - I am sure that can be arranged :)

Lisa said...

I got some kangkong but no sambal...will have to modify...any suggestions?

high over happy said...

Lisa - do you have any type of sambal/chili e.g. sambal oelek or chili with garlic? You can use that and add some shrimp paste. Good luck!

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Anonymous said...

If i use shrimp paste instead of belacan. How much shrimp paste do i add?

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sophie said...

Wow, Kangkong, I heard that it is perfect for those who need to have healthy blood. And I bet it is good for me, too, because I currently am breastfeeding. :-)
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Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I stumbled upon ur blog! I have like 2 bunches of kang kong in my fridge which are begging to be cooked. The thing is, I just didn't know what to do with them. Didn't think of looking up the recipe for kang kong belacan until now because I've run out of ingredients to cook. And thankfully, I have everything u listed except for shallots and lime (yes, I have belacan all along). Is it okay if I were to substitute yellow onion and lemon respectively? Thank u!!

fellow Singaporean

StrayKat said...

Thanks for the recipe. I've cooked it twice now but I'm getting better each time. Next time I'll make sure I have the calamansi (which is so fragrant and flavourful).

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Anonymous said...

Omg, I lived in Indonesia from 2006 - 2008 and ate kangkong almost daily. I'm so excited to try and recreate it. De-freakin'-licious!

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Great Article :)
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