Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste


Leafy greens get dressed up with funk and spice in this easy stir-fry.


  • 1 bunch water spinach / kangkung

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

  • Small handful dried shrimp

  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste / belacan

  • 1/2 red bird's eye chili, thinly sliced

  • Dash of fish sauce

  1. Wash the spinach and pat dry or dry in a salad spinner. Separate the stems and leaves and cut the stems into 4cm lengths.

  2. Heat a wok over medium-high heat until a droplet of water evaporates immediately. Swirl in the oil and add the smashed garlic, shrimp paste, dried shrimp, and chili. Fry for a minute or so, until the shrimp paste is fragrant. Add the stems and fish sauce, and fry until the stems are slightly softened, but still have a pleasant bite.

  3. Add the leaves and stir fry for another minute or so, until just wilted but still bright green. Serve immediately.

This recipe was featured in the weekly menu of Issue #2 of the Journey East Zine alongside:

Grace Kwan © 2020