Authentic Stir-fried Water Spinach (Kangkung Belacan/Tumis Kangkus Terasi)

Water spinach is a very well-known vegetable in South East Asia. It is normally very cheap and easy to find in Asia, but not in Germany. It can be found only in Asian supermarket and it is not cheap, comparing to other vegetables like Pak choy or bean sprout. Because of that reason, I don’t buy it very often and only buy when I am certain I am going to cook, eat it straight away and no waste! To cook this, I use shrimp paste and Hebi (small dried shrimp). I love the smell of both shrimp; it makes me feel home. Some people might not like the smell and yes it can get all over your kitchen, BUT the taste of this stir-fried water spinach is irreplaceable. I hope you like it as much as I do and enjoy cooking!

Note: The shrimp paste will give the salty taste into the dish, so be careful when you add salt into it. The best is to taste before you add the salt.

Total time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2


1 pack              Kangkung (Water spinach), picked or cut into 2-3 cm

1 pcs                Tomato, slice into 6-8 pcs.

5 pcs                Garlic, sliced

3 pcs                Shallots, sliced

2 pcs                Chili, chopped

1 ½ tsp            Shrimp paste

2 tsp                Hebi (small dried shrimp)

1 tsp                Sugar

½ tsp               Chicken powder

½ cup               Water

Salt to taste

2 tbsp              Vegetable oil


  • Pre-heat a wok with vegetable oil on high heat. (because it’s high heat, ensure to stir regularly to avoid getting burnt)
  • Throw in chopped shallots, garlic, and chilis. Stir for about 30 seconds until it’s fragrant.
  • Throw in sliced tomatoes. Stir again until it’s half-cooked.
  • Pour in water and continue with water spinach. Stir regularly until the size of the water spinach has reduced.
  • Add the shrimp paste and Hebi (small dried shrimp), stir.
  • Season with sugar and chicken powder, and salt if it’s not salty enough.
  • Stir until all well-mixed. Ready to serve.


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