Indonesian plecing kangkung (water spinach salad) is a must-try recipe! Quick and easy to make, this vegetable dish is ideal, if you are after something fast to eat after work.
Plecing kangkung is an Indonesian water spinach dish from Lombok island. It is also commonly served in the neighboring island, Bali, and served as a side dish.
- Kangkung. It is the main ingredient of this dish; however, you can also use spinach if you can’t find kangkung
- Chilies. Plecing uses 2 different kinds of chilies – red chilies and Thai chilies to make it spicy
- Tomato. This will balance the spiciness of plecing
- Shrimp paste (terasi, belacan). You can replace this with fish sauce if you can’t find shrimp paste
- Lime. You will need the juice; hence, be sure to use fresh good lime
- Sugar, salt
- Peanuts. Optional but necessary
What is kangkung
Kangkung is a type of vegetable that is most commonly grown in east, south, and southeast Asia. It has several names and is also known as water spinach, morning glory, Chinese spinach, or ong choy in Cantonese. Kangkung is used extensively in Indonesian, Burmese, Thai, Lao, Cambodian, Malay, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Chinese cuisine since it grows well, and when it does grow, it does so very rapidly, making it plentiful.
How to eat kangkung
In some countries, you can enjoy it raw. And some other places, you can find it stir-fried, tempura, or cook in a soup. In Indonesia, kangkung is served in many ways. In gado-gado salad, pecel, as lalapan, stir fried with shrimp paste (belacan or terasi), with beef hot plate, mie kangkung (kangkung noodle), and Lombok plecing kangkung.
How to make plecing kangkung
- Combine the ingredients for chili sauce in a food processor
- Heat oil in a pan and saute the paste until fragrant. Add tomato and cook until wilted
- Adjust the seasoning and set aside
- Blanch kangkung and pour the chili sauce on top, along with roasted peanuts and lime juice
The chili sauce, plecing, can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
What to make with plecing kangkung
You can enjoy it as a main dish or a side dish for fried chicken, grilled chicken, or fried salted fish.
Plecing kangkung is one of the quick and easy ways to enjoy kangkung or vegetable. What’s your favorite way to enjoy kangkung?
Plecing Kangkung (Water Spinach Salad)
- 1 pound kangkung clean and discard any tough stems
- Roasted peanuts optional
Plecing chili sauce
- 4 red chilies Fresno/Cayenne
- 5 Thai/bird’s eye chilies
- 1 medium/large red tomato
- 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar to taste
- Salt to taste
- 5 tablespoons oil
- Juice from 1 lime
- In a food processor, combine both chilies, shrimp paste, sugar, and salt. Process until smooth.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the paste and cook until fragrant.
- Add tomato and cook until it gets wilted. Adjust the seasoning and add lime juice, set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add kangkung and let it boil until it’s soft but not mushy. Drain off water and refresh the veggie with fresh cold water to preserve its fresh green color. Wring out excess water.
- When ready to serve, scoop the plecing chili sauce over kangkung and serve with roasted peanuts.