Stir fried water spinach
|Place of origin||East, South and Southeast Asia|
|Region or state||Southern China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Eastern India|
|Main ingredients||water spinach|
Stir fried water spinach is a common Asian vegetable dish of stir-fried water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica). It is a popular Asian vegetable dish, commonly found throughout East, South and Southeast Asia; from Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine in China, to Filipino, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, and Vietnamese cuisine in Southeast Asia; to Sri Lankan cuisine and Bengali cuisine in South Asia. As a result, it is known by many names; such as tumis kangkung or cah kangkung in Indonesia; kangkong goreng in Malaysia; ginisang kangkóng or adobong kangkóng in the Philippines; rau muống xào in Vietnam; stir fry kong xin cai (空心菜); stir fry tung choy or ong choy (通菜) in China; kankun mallung in Sri Lanka; and kolmi shak bhaja in Bangladesh and eastern India.
Stir fried water spinach is one of the simplest, easiest, and also cheapest vegetable dishes in Asia, which contributes to its popularity. Water spinach thrives in the waterways, rivers, lakes and swamps of tropical Southeast Asia and Southern China. The garlic and shallots or onion are stir-fried in cooking oil, then the cleaned and cut water spinach are added, stir-fried in a wok on a strong fire with a small amount of cooking oil. The stir-frying lightly caramelises the vegetables. The seasoning sauce is added according to each preference and recipe. Some might add slices of red hot chili pepper for spicy tanginess, while fresh or dried shrimp might be added for flavour. Other recipes might add diced tofu.
Seasonings and variations
The stir-fried water spinach might vary according to its seasonings. A stir-fried water spinach could be lightly seasoned in garlic, black pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, or in spicy chili pepper, tauco (fermented soybean paste), shrimp paste or other sauce. The Vietnamese version seems to favour fish sauce for seasoning, while the Indonesian and Malaysian version seems to favour shrimp paste. The Filipino version often uses a soy sauce-vinegar seasoning mix, reminiscent of the Philippine adobo seasoning; with versions that also use shrimp paste, fish sauce, or fermented fish. The Southern Chinese recipe might favour oyster sauce or fermented tofu (腐乳) seasoning. In West Java, the Chinese Indonesian version however, favours the use of tauco fermented soybeans paste as seasoning.
Water spinach with shrimp paste
A specific stir-fried water spinach seasoned with shrimp paste (belacan or terasi in Malay; and bagoong alamang in Filipino) is called kangkung belacan, kangkong belacan or cah kangkung terasi in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, and binagoongang kangkóng in the Philippines. It is a popular vegetable dish in Island Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, the shrimp paste can also be replaced with bagoong isda (fermented fish) or patis (fish sauce) and is commonly served with deep-fried pork belly (lechon kawali).
- "Cantonese Style Water Spinach Stir-fry". Yi Reservation.
- "Easy Recipe to Make Cah Kangkung Terasi". Food Recipe.
- "Water spinach and coconut stir-fry (kankun mallung)". SBS Food.
- "Kangkung Belacan". Malaysian Food.
- "Kangkong with Bagoong". Ang Sarap. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Binagoongang Kangkong". Pinoy Hapagkainan. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Oh, Sam (21 June 2013). "#SamLikesItHot: Kangkong bagoong with lechon kawali". Rappler. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
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