Kang Kong Sambal Belacan
Serves 4 people
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- Used in a variety of cuisines, the water spinach goes by many names such as water convolvulus or swamp cabbage in English, kankon or you-sai in Japanese, ong tsoi in Cantonese, weng cai in Mandarin, kang kong in Filipino, Malaysia and Vietnamese, pak bung in Thai and batata acquatica or cancon in Portuguese
- Kang kong is listed as a "Federal Noxious Weed" under the US Department of Agriculture's Plant Protection Act, which means you can’t import it into the country or transport it between states. In fact, it’s illegal vegetation in most Southern states, including Texas.
- 450 g kang kong (water spinach)
- 15 g dried shrimps, washed and soaked for 10 minutes to soften
- 1½ Tbsp belacan (shrimp paste)
- 3 red chilies, seeded
- 7 shallots, peeled (an alternative is 1 medium onion)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt, to taste
Rinse kang kong and cut ingredients
Rinse kang kong well as it can be gritty. Allow vegetables to drain in colander for at least an hour or use a salad spinner to get rid of excessive water.
Slice garlic and chili, then roughly chop belacan.
Cut rinsed kang long into 3 inch lengths. Set aside.
Fry kang kong
In a large pan or wok on medium heat, add 2 Tbsp vegetable oil. When hot, sauté the red chili (keeping 1 tsp aside for garnish), shallots, garlic, shrimps and belacan for 4 to 5 minutes or until fragrant.
Add kang kong and fry on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until vegetables are wilted. Season with salt to taste.
Serve hot, garnishing with reserved chili.