Recipe: Sambal Kangkung



350g kangkung (water spinach), washed, stems cut into 3″ pieces, leaves kept whole

2tbsp vegetable or plain-tasting oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 shallots, finely diced

2tbsp sambal belacan (a Malaysian fermented shrimp and chilli paste. Can be substituted for Thai chilli pasta if you cannot find this)

2tsp sugar

1/3 cup water

2 Bird’s Eye chillies, finely sliced (to garnish)

lime, cut into segments (to serve)


– heat oil over a medium-high heat and stir-fry garlic and onion until fragrant

– add sambal belacan and sugar and stir-fry for another minutes

– add the kangkung stems, along with a splash of water and stir-fry for a minute minutes

– add the kangkung leaves and a little more water if needed, place lid on pan and allow to steam for 30 seconds

– remove from heat, transfer to serving plate and garnish with chillies and lime wedges for squeezing

(Serves 5-6 as a side dish)

Top tip: place the kangkung into ice water before frying – this will keep it crisp


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  1. Ema Jones

    I’m adding some garlic salt instead of garlic cloves, hope it’s a good idea, as I don’t wanna use garlic here directly…


  2. I’m a huge fan of garlic myself, but give it a go for sure – cuisine is all about experimenting and personal preference when it comes to taste! Just be careful that the dish doesn’t become overly salty – the sambal belacan will contain salt. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂


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