KangKung Belacan (馬來盞炒空心菜/馬來風光)

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I just picked up a bunch of fresh KangKung, which is water spinach or water convolvulus (空心菜) from the Asian market. It’s been some time we didn’t cook this. Bel and I love this vegetable dish especially when it is cooked with Sambal Belacan. Again? Yes! In fact Kangkung Belacan is a signature dish in Malay recipes and yet  it is another must-order-dish when you visit Malaysian restaurant. In Chinese translation, this dish is a representation of Malaysian style cuisine (馬來風光).

Cooking with Sambal Belacan is indeed an unique style of cooking in Malay cuisine.  Some people might not like the fishy smell from the Belacan or shrimp paste, but once you have tried the prepared dish you will love it. The Belacan brings out the fresh and sweetness of the dish and gives a pungent aroma that you can’t resist. There are so many dishes that you can incorporate with these two main ingredients. See Bel’s other related posts such as the Sambal Okra, Sambal Belacan Asparagus, Rojak, Indonesian Fried Rice for more cooking with Sambal Belacan.

1/2 pack of fresh Kangkung or Water Spinach (washed, trimmed bottom, cut into 2″ pieces)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chili paste (Sambal Oelek)
2 cm Belacan (dissolve with some water to smooth into paste)
20 or more dried shrimps (soaked in water, reserved liquid, chopped)
Salt to taste

Cooking Method:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok over medium, add garlic stir fry till slight golden.
  2. Reduce heat to low, add in dried shrimp, chili or Sambal paste, Belacan and stir-fry paste till toasted.
  3. Turn to high heat, add Kangkung and the reserved liquid, stir fry for 2-3 minutes till cook, Careful do not overcook for it will be too old.
  4. Dish out and serve.

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Category: Entrée (Veggie)

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