Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chili Kangkong (Water Convolvulus)

Kangkong is a popular dish in Southeast Asia. In the parts that I come from, it is usually served as a side dish to seafood dinners. Sauteed with shrimp paste or with bits of squids, this dish was one of my favorites. Spicy and a little saucy, it pairs excellently with some steaming hot rice. After turning vegetarian, its not often that I cook this delectable vegetable. Since I was planning to make the Kampong Fried Rice I decided to make this dish as an accompaniment. I wanted it to be fiery so I added birds eye chili and perfumed it with some garlic. It was hard not to polish this dish off by myself and I'm sure I will be making it soon again!

Chili Kangkong

1 teaspoon olive oil
220g kangkong, cut into small pieces
3 red birds eye chili (chili padi), sliced finely
3 garlic cloves, minced
soy sauce to taste


1) In a wok, add the oil and saute the garlic and chili until fragrant.
2) Add the kangkong and soy sauce. Saute until the kangkong wilts and changes to a  bright green colour.
3) Remove and serve immediately. 


  1. So this is The recipe? I was wondering how it was made. We found kangkong in an Asian store, which is fantastic when we think of how much Fredrik loves it. We'll try this recipe, to have a taste of Singapore. Thanks.

  2. Hi Virginie,

    In SE Asia, it is almost always made with belachan - shrimp paste and/or dried shrimps. If you want something more authentic, I would suggest adding some vegetarian belachan powder - but I wonder if you can get it in France. Other than that the recipe ingredients are similar to what we will find in a local diner.

    My other also makes another version (it's an Indian dish) with kangkong. It's a sour soup made with tamarind and she adds unripe bananas, kangkong, brinjal, ladies finger, whole garlic and chunky onions. She also adds dried anchovies and a bit of milk but it can be easily omitted. It's called 'Sothi'. It has been years since I tried it, I think I'll have to make it soon!

  3. Hi Halimah,
    I tried this recipe this today with regular spinach and without vegetarian powder. It was delicious. Thanks for soup idea. I'll try it one day, with kangkong, or why not with regular spinach as I did today.

  4. Hi again Halimah,
    Here is the spinach version (2nd edition) :
    We love it so much that I think I'm going to make it for dinner right now, for the third edition. Thanks. Cheers.

  5. Hi Virginie!

    Yes,it is a very simple yet delicious recipe and I find that it is so easy to gobble up the entire plate of vegetables when it is cooked like this! Thanks for posting about VegVibe on your blog! Really appreciate it :)