For a salad with a difference, try out this Indonesian-style kerabu kangkung.
I added in ladies' fingers and thin French green beans for extra crunch and variety.
This salad is light and refreshing with a dressing that is delightfully savoury and zesty.
There is no hard and fast rule on the level of spiciness, so vary the amount of sambal belacan for the dressing depending on your preference.
Store the excess sambal belacan in an air-tight jar and keep it in the fridge. You can use it to fry kangkung for another dish on another day, or as a condiment for other dishes.
Similarly, store the dry-fried grated coconut (kerisik) in the fridge. It makes a crispy and fragrant topping for other salads and even stir-fried vegetable dishes.
Pink torch ginger bulbs are more commonly available, but I like the fiery colour of the red variety. You might just be able to find them if you visit the market at Geylang Serai.
- 350g kangkung, cut into bite-sized lengths
- 100g ladies' fingers, sliced
- 80g haricot verts (thin French green beans), sliced into thirds
- 30g dried prawns
- 150g freshly grated coconut
- 1 red torch ginger bulb, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp assam jawa (tamarind pulp), mixed with 2 tbsp water and strained - reserve the tamarind juice
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 red finger chillies
- 5 limes, halved and deseeded
- 30ml lime juice
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
- 8 shallots
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2.5cm piece of belacan
- 1 flat tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
1. Prepare the sambal belacan by grinding the ingredients together into a paste. Set aside.
2. Dry-fry (without oil) the freshly grated coconut over low heat until browned and crisp. This is the kerisik.
3. Soak the dried prawns until softened, then dry-fry until fragrant.
4. Place the kerisik and dried prawns in the grinder and pulse until finely grounded.
5. In a bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing 1½ tablespoons of sambal belacan, 3 tablespoons of ground kerisik and dried prawn mixture, tamarind juice, salt and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
6. Dry-fry the ladies' fingers before blanching. This helps to reduce the sap.
7. Blanch the kangkung.
8. Set aside and blanch the thin French green beans.
9. Drain and place vegetables in a bowl.
10. Mix in the dressing.
11. Garnish with the sliced torch ginger bulb.