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)
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 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.
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.
Add the cleaned water spinach. The water spinach will reduce a lot. So that huge pile will become...
...this reduced stir-fry in only a few minutes. Add chili peppers or chili paste at this point if you wish.
Plate and serve with rice.
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).