The best way to eat Kangkong (water convolvulus) is either to stir fry it with belacan or blanched and dipped in prawn paste eaten together with cuttlefish. I was not planning to cook kangkong without chilli but due to absent mindedness, I bought kangkong without buying chillies. Left with no choice, I had to do some improvisation and decided to give it a stir fry minus chillies.
I had with me tender shoots of kangkong, homegrown by some villagers nearby. Most of the stems were used as they were young shoots and not overly fibrous. I was pleasantly surprised that a simple stir frying with garlic and pre-soaked dried prawns brought out the natural hint of sweetness in the vegetable. Unlike stir frying with belacan which may overpower the taste of the vegetable altogether, this stir fry keeps it light.
This is my recipe for Stir Fried Kangkong with Garlic
- 300 grammes kangkong (washed, roots removed and plucked)
- 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 30 grammes dried prawns (soaked for 5 minutes in 200 grammes water)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons palm oil
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- salt to taste
- a pinch of msg (optional)
Heat oil in wok. Add pre-soaked dried prawns (without water) and stir fry for 15 to 30 seconds. Add garlic and continue stir frying till garlic beginning to brown.
Add kangkong and stir well. Add seasoning and sprinkle a little water (previously used to soak dried prawns) every now and then to keep the dish moist. Dish up when leaves have completely and evenly turned darker colour.
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