Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste)

Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste) 1


Salads are all well and good, but most of the time, I prefer my greens sauteed. I love rau muong/ong choy/kangkong (Vietnamese/Chinese/Malaysian water spinach), but mostly eat it as Rau Muong Xao Toi Chao (Vietnamese Water Spinach Stir-fried with Garlic and Fermented Bean Curd). So recently, I decided to change things up a notch and make it Malaysian-style with Mam Ruoc (Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Paste). If you have blocks of Malaysian belacan, then by all means use that, but I've found the Vietnamese version just fine for substitution.

The fermented shrimp paste and dried shrimp are incredibly pungent, so make sure you have a good exhaust fan or air filter turned on high. And for some weird reason, this recipe is all in portions of two. You'll see what I mean.


Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste) 2


Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste)
Adapted from MalaysianFood.net

For 2 to 4 servings, you'll need:
2 lbs water spinach, plucked and washed
2 tblsp dried shrimp
2 tsp belacan or Mam Ruoc (Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Paste)
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 pinches of sugar

Optional: Sliced chili peppers or chili paste for spice

Remove hard bottom few inches of water spinach stems. Pluck and wash water spinach and set aside to drain.

In a food processor, grind 2 tblsp dried shrimp, 2 tsp fermented shrimp paste, 2 shallots, 2 cloves of garlic, and 2 pinches of sugar.


Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste) 3


In a saucepan on medium heat, drizzle a bit of oil and saute the shrimp mixture until the dried shrimp has softened. This should only take a few minutes.


Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste) 4


Add the cleaned water spinach. The water spinach will reduce a lot. So that huge pile will become...


Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste) 5


...this reduced stir-fry in only a few minutes. Add chili peppers or chili paste at this point if you wish.


Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste) 6


Plate and serve with rice.


Kangkong Belacan (Malaysian Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste) 7


Other water spinach recipes:
Rau Muong Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Water Spinach)
Rau Muong Xao Toi Chao (Vietnamese Water Spinach Stir-fried with Garlic and Fermented Bean Curd)
Xa Lach Thit Bo Rau Muong (Vietnamese Steak and Water Spinach Salad)

*****
1 year ago today, Barview Jetty County Park - Rockaway Beach - Oregon.
2 years ago today, Parga - Greece.
3 years ago today, Zafarani Polow (Persian Saffron Rice).

5 comments:

  1. Ohhh! Water spinach always brings me back to my mom's kitchen. I rarely make it because I have to schlep myself across town to get it.

    I can actually imagine the taste just by looking at the picture!

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  2. Mmmmm, kangkong belacan. Yep, belacan is pungent as all get out! But it's very, very good especially with a good dose of sambal as well.

    Incidentally, am in Hanoi right now and have just gotten a nice bag of com Vong. :) Had bun rieu for breakfast, and tham cap the other day - unfortunately it's my last day tomorrow as we'll be performing for Hanoi's 1000 year celebrations (Mahler's 8th Symphony in E flat, the Symphony of a Thousand as they call it. No kidding,there will be about 1000 people on stage including choirs and musicians.)

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  3. omg i had this at a malaysian restaurant in atlanta and could not deal with the shrimp paste :/ ugh!

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  4. Thanks to your blog, I know now what Kang Kong is in English! We call it Kang Kong in the Philippines. :)

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  5. Darlene,
    I buy water spinach almost every other time I go to the Asian grocery store. I love it.

    Shuku,
    I love it since belacan tastes like Vietnamese mam ruoc. Your trip sounds lovely!

    Van,
    Yeah, some places can be a little heavy-handed with the shrimp paste and it overpowers everything.

    Kitty,
    I think water spinach sounds best. Better than hollow vegetable or convolvulus. :P

    ReplyDelete

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