I've always wanted to cook this dish ever since I saw this posted years ago by my good blogging friend Stel and Hawaiian food blogger Reid. So when I finally got hold of fresh kangkong in a local (well, not so local since it's about 20 miles away!) Chinese grocer I decided there and then to cook this. Kangkong is also called ung choi or tung choi or water spinach in other lands. Funny how vegetables so common back home that didn't merit so much as a second glance suddenly becomes like a goldmine find when you see it on a shop shelf.
How did the dish go? It should have been great but either the 1 tablespoon blachan is too much or the brand I bought is especially salty. It resulted in me and the husband fishing out the strands of kangkong from the salty sauce then smothering it with lots of steamed rice. And the whole house smelling like a shrimp stink bomb exploded. That's why in the recipe below I drastically reduced the blachan to just 1 teaspoon then I'll just go from there. But it's so nice to have a veg quite different from the usual ones especially when paired with hot grilled fish. Yum!
350 g kangkong (ung choi, tung choi)
1 tsp blachan (belachan, shrimp paste)
2 Tbsp hibe (dried shrimps)
2 red chillies - chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup water
- Cut the kangkong into 3-inch lengths. Rinse well in water then drain.
- Soak the hibe in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain.
- Grind or pound the blachan, hibe, red chillies, and garlic until fine.
- Heat oil in wok and stir fry the blachan mixture for about 3 minutes.
- Turn up heat and add in the kangkong. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the water and cook for 1 more minute.
- Serve immediately.