Monday, 22 February 2016

Kangkung Belachan

Kangkung Belachan is one of our favourite vegetable dishes, and it is simple to create in its most basic form

Kangkung, water spinach or water convolvulus, will grow readily in Sydney’s climate in a good sheltered position with very regular watering. Our little bed of kangkung measures only about one metre square, providing us with cut stems for the kitchen once every fortnight from December through until the onset of the cold weather…

A fortnight's single harvest
(For further information about kangkung cultivation - and a fun personal anecdote -, check out a previous blog post, Kangkung Adventures, in our Travel label.)

The leaves and growing tips are the prime part of the vegetable. However, the stems can also be consumed, provided that they are cooked a little longer than the leafy parts. Being rather spoiled for kangkung, we normally only consume the delicious leaves and tips.

What you need…

A great big bunch of kangkung, perhaps 500 grams
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 teaspoons belachan (Malaysian shrimp paste)
Chilli, to taste, chopped
Cooking oil
A little water
Dried prawns (Optional)
Green prawns (Optional)

What you need to do…
  •               Soak your dried prawns if you intend to use them. Drain them
  •         Prepare and wash the vegetable stems, retaining the large leaves and growing tips.
  •         Stir-fry the belachan, chilli, garlic and dried prawns.
  •         Add your green prawns now if you are using them.
  •         When the garlic mixture has turned golden, add the kangkung, taking care not to overcook it… it should still be a little crisp to taste.
  •               Add salt to taste.

     In certain Sydney suburbs, you can purchase kangkung under its Chinese name, Ong Choy... but it is better to grow your own.

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