Kangkung Belacan

Kangkung Belacan is a common traditional dish in Singapore and Malaysia. This dish is so easy and simple to make, taking a matter of minutes to cook.

It’s is a classic Malay recipe stir fried with spices and one of my favourite leafy green dishes. It reminds me of the time my father was working in Singapore and we visited for the summer holidays.

We were overwhelmed by the tastes and smells of all the wonderful street markets and instantly hooked on the amazing local dishes, the like of which we had never experienced in the UK. This was a must order at the local restaurant and was just one of the recipes we brought it home with us, often cooking it for a family gathering when we’d reminisce about the wonderful time we had in the far east.

1 tablespoon dried shrimp,
soaked in hot boiling water
until softened, drained
3 chilies
3 shallots, peeled, sliced
2 garlic, peeled, chopped
ginger, peeled and sliced
Shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon belacan (shrimp paste)
300gm kangkung (water spinach) washed and drained, but you could substitute other
Chinese greens such as choi sum or pak choi.
salt to taste


Grind the spice paste ingredients until smooth
Trim 1-2 inches from the tough ends of the kangkung and discard. Cut into 2-3 inch lengths.

Add the cooking oil to a wok or saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the spice paste and cook for 5 minutes or until fragrant stirring occasionally.

Add in kangkung, and stir-fry at high heat until well mixed (this should take less than 2 minutes!).

Add salt to taste. (Add very little salt to taste as the belacan is already salty)

Be careful not to over-cook. Kangkung tend to softened very fast, and it’s best eaten with a slight crunch.

Serve hot over steamed rice or noodles. Also makes the perfect accompaniment with any meat or fish dishes.

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