Tuesday, December 8, 2009

kangkong Belacan 馬來棧炒蕹菜



A must have when you are dining in a Malaysian restaurant, this humble swamp dweller that grows wild in many parts of Asia has got many names, from tung chai, ung choi, water mimosa, swamp cabbage or even morning glory, but it will always be kangkong to most people growing up in Malaysia and Singapore. Many Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne would substitute this with spinach, perhaps because the price of this vegetable can go from $2.00/kg to up to a staggering $17.00/kg depending on the season. I somehow think they should really put this up when they are in season just like how a lot of Chinese restaurants are doing these days.
I make a simple sambal bajak (I'll post the recipe in a later date) for this stir fry as one of the tummies is not a real fan of belacan, it is less pungent but nevertheless a wonderful dish. If you have sweet potatoes growing in your backyard, the tender stems and leaves are just as delicious cook this way.
P.S it is very important to cook the harder stems first before adding the softer parts of the vegetable.

you'll need;
3 bunches of kangkong, picked and cut into 3" pieces
3 tbs of sambal belacan or sambal bajak

for sambal belacan you'll need;
5 red chilies, chopped
1.5 tbs shrimp paste, toasted
1/4 tbs of sugar
1/4 tbs of salt
2 cloves of garlic, chopped (optional)
2 shallots, chopped (optional)
1 lime
Pound everything til you get a course. I have added garlic and shallots to give the dish a softer edge

Prepare spice paste

Fry paste til fragrant and oil separate.

Fry the hard stems first til soften.

Follow by the leafy part and fry til soft but still retain the crunch. Check for seasonings.

Serve hot as part of a Malaysian meal. We had it with Malaysian chicken curry and cucumber, onion and pineapple pickle.

26 comments:

  1. I'm stealing your belachan recipe!

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  2. I've never had sambal belacan. It looks nice and spicy! Great veggie dish.

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  3. Oh I love this dish very much!! Now I can make it at home!

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  4. This dish is delicious, in fact any veggie with belachan is simply appetising.

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  5. Oh I love this. I always like to add a little more spicy. Sometime I also fry kangkong with red fermented beancurd and chilli ~ Cantonese stlyle.

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  6. Hi :-)
    I never had the chance to try these lovely dishes ,but they look great and you have a wonderful blog.
    Thank You.

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  7. Gosh...this is such an awesome dish....again just what I really miss. The kangkong here is so expensive....and worse....more stems than leaves:( This is one dish I will want to eat a lot when I go back.

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  8. yum yummm.. I wish I was your neighbour, then I can tumpang makan ;)

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  9. Kenny, please do!!!

    Palidor you must give it a try then!!

    Vicki let me know how it turns out.

    Thanks Cheah! I can't agree more!

    Thanks Anncoo! I do the fermented beancurd version too :)

    Thank Chen! you must give it a try!

    Mary, thanks! is a shame kangkong is so expensive over there :(

    mycookinghut , tumpang makan anytime when you are in Melbourne!!

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  10. ohhh! this is one of my favorite ways to eat veggies!!!! i always order when i go to malaysian resto!!! i would make it at home, but i live in a studio... so if i cook this... my place will smell for days! i will have to sleep in the smell! LOL so i rather eat it at restaurant

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  11. Harriet from CarltonDecember 8, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    We love this dish! tried the sweet potato leaves you mentioned and it was very delicious too!! Went to quick a few Malaysian restaurant around here but they used spinach :( as you said why not only have this dish when it is in season? Thanks for the recipe!

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  12. Awsome! my favourite malaysian veggie dish thanks!!

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  13. Looks so delicious, hard for me to find this in the eastern suburbs :(

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  14. I have not had a chance to sample sambal belacan, it sounds wonderfully delicious, looking forward to trying!

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  15. I love these ! Usually I cooked it with Nam Yee , home made belachan paste and make it very spicy ( extra chilli padi )

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  16. and this blog , I know about the smell cooking with shrimp paste thats why I now cook this dish outside on my bbq's wok burner ;)

    Harriet, I'm glad you have tasted sweet potato leaves, I hope someone will start selling that soon.

    Thanks Anonymous!

    Thanks Anu!! Richmond is in eastern suburb no? :)

    Thanks % star foodie, please do and let me know!

    Pearlyn, I sometimes cook with nam yee too! Haha you and your chili!!

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  17. Looks delicious!!! has the kitchen reopened?

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  18. Great blog!! First time visitor here will be on my reading list!!

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  19. Thanks love to eat! yes it has!!!

    Thanks Fresh Local and Best! you must give it a try!

    Thanks Wan! I 'm very happy to hear that!!

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  20. I could just imagine the smell when the paste and oil was being fried... This is usually the step I enjoy the most.

    This looks great!

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  21. Not a big fan of shrimp paste so i'll wait for the sambal bajak! Looks good though!

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  22. Adrian, this is the very few times I've heard people saying they love the smell of frying belacan :)
    Thank you!!!

    Mike, thank you! I'll post the sambal bajak soon!

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  23. I'm curious just where did you find this kangkong? I can't find it anywhere when I was in New Zealand!

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  24. My Little Space ,
    There is a little Saigon near me so I can basically get everything for Asian cooking :)

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  25. Hi, Im a Sinngporean.Had fried kangkong lately sfter so long away frm home. So deliciuos. Im trying to grow it from the stems. wish me luck.

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