Cah Kangkung Terasi Recipe (Stir Fry Water Spinach with Terasi) » Indonesia Eats

HomeEasy RecipesCah Kangkung Terasi Recipe (Stir Fry Water Spinach with Terasi)July 8, 2010576ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppLinkedinReddItEmailPrintTelegramMixLINE

Saute Wate Sspinach BelacanI bet people who grew up in South East Asian countries know this signature ingredient, dried shrimp paste. Many things I’d like to share here including different names of this ingredient in different countries, 3 different types of terasi in Indonesia and also how to choose a good terasi.

Based on wikipedia, here are several different names:
Terasi (in Indonesia)
Belacan/Belachan (in Malaysia and Singapore)
Bagoong Alamang (in the Philippines)
Mắm Ruốc, Mắm Tép and Mắm Tôm (in Vietnam, the name depends on the shrimp used)
Kapi (in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand)
Ngapi (in Burma)

However, the Dutch knows this as “Trassi” and it’s actually pronounced the same as Indonesians read a word “terasi” quickly.

I came from a suburban town of Surabaya that is known for its shrimp carckers and terasi. My housing area was very closed to the famous shrimp crackers manufacturing “Finna“.

As a natural food flavoring, terasi is a legacy hereditary produced by generations of fisherman communities in Indonesia. Currently, terasi is still produced traditionally. Some areas are known as producers of terasi is Bagansiapi-api. However, many little towns in Java island are known as the centre of home-based shrimp industries such as Sidoarjo, Rembang, Indramayu, Cirebon and Pati.

Since I grew up in Sidoarjo, I love Ny Siok terasi. It’s very popular brand of terasi in Indonesia which I only can get from Vancouver. For this recipe, I used Cirebon’s brand.

I found a good article about terasi from my almamater website. Unfortunately, it is written in Indonesian. So, I tried to take the main parts and translated for this post. In Indonesia, terasi is not only made from shrimp, but fish too. So, there are 3 types of terasi, terasi udang (dried shrimp paste), terasi ikan (dried fish paste) and terasi kombinasi ikan dan udang (dried shrimp and fish paste). Most Indonesians like the shrimp one, since it has more pleasant aroma and tastes more delicious.

Quality of terasi on the market depends on raw material quality, processing, and packaging products. A good-quality terasi can be marked by its colour, ie dark brown or black. The black colour of terasi is a natural. Color pigments were derived from fish or shrimp. Never ever choose the red colour since it contains Rhodamine B which is used to dye textiles. Research has shown that the continuous use of Rhodamine B will cause to liver cancer, kidney and bladder.

I have no background of Chinese language, thou I lived side by side with Chinese communities (especially the Peranakan) in Indonesia. Rasa Malaysia has told me on the Indonesia Eats facebook page that cah is actually a Chinese dialect for stir fry. She was quite surprised that Indonesian uses that word for stir fry. Actually, there are 3 Indonesian words for stir fry; cah, tumis and oseng (or oseng-oseng).

I know two kinds of water spinach or morning glory (kangkung), kangkung air (English: water morning glory, Science: Ipomoea aquatica Forsk., Malay: kangkong air) and kangkung darat (English: garden morning glory, Science: Ipomoea reptana Poir., Malay: kangkong kampong).

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The original recipe uses ebi or dried shrimp. I twisted the recipe by skipping ebi for fresh prawn/shrimp.

Cah Kangkung Terasi
– Stir Fry Water Spinach with Terasi –
adapted from Joy of Cooking, modified and translated by me

Ingredients:
1 kg water spinach, wash the water spinach and shake it dry
1/2 tbsp tamarind dissolve in 1 tbsp lukewarm water
1 tbsp light soy sauce
200 g medium prawn/shrimp, washed and discarded the heads
1 tbsp oil for stir frying
salt as desired

Spices to be ground:
6 shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp tauco (salted fermented soy beans)
½ tsp terasi udang (dried shrimp paste), toasted
5 red long cayenne peppers

Directions:
1. Prepare the vegetable by breaking off the leaves at the base, and then breaking the stems with your hands at about 1.5″ intervals. Leave the top last part of stem intact with the top 2 leaves on.

2. Heat your wok to really HIGH. The key of stir fry is a HOT HOT HOT wok. If you’re using an electric stove, leave the stove on high for about 3-5 minutes with the skillet full of oil sitting on top. Stir fry ground spices and shrimps until fragrant.

3. Add water spinach/morning glory, tamarind mixture, soy sauce and salt (I didn’t add any salt). Flip the vegetables and spread out a few times to make sure they evenly cook. They’re done when the leaves are dark green and wilted and the stem is medium green. Don’t overcook, or they’ll taste bad. Remove from heat and enjoy! In this case, I ate with rendang and warmed cooked rice.

Cah Kangkung Terasi on FoodistaCah Kangkung TerasiFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppLinkedinReddItEmailPrintTelegramMixLINEPrevious articleRendang: Minang Rendang RecipeNext articleNuoc Mam Cham Mussels and King Oyster MushroomIndonesia Eatshttps://indonesiaeats.comAn Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg Edmonton, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.

  1. Lia Chen July 8, 2010 At 12:41 PMPep, this is one of my favorite. I can just eat this with hot rice only. Really yummy!! (^.^)Reply
  2. TasteHongKong July 8, 2010 At 3:34 PMInterested in knowing the different types of Terasi. Thanks! Dried shrimp paste is more popular in my place and we also love to cook it with water spinach, which we call it 'Tung Choi' in Cantonese; tung refers to the hollow stem and, choi, vegetable.Reply
  3. Lia Chen July 8, 2010 At 7:41 PMPep, this is one of my favorite. I can just eat this with hot rice only. Really yummy!! (^.^)Reply
  4. TasteHongKong July 8, 2010 At 10:34 PMInterested in knowing the different types of Terasi. Thanks! Dried shrimp paste is more popular in my place and we also love to cook it with water spinach, which we call it 'Tung Choi' in Cantonese; tung refers to the hollow stem and, choi, vegetable.Reply
  5. Sanura July 8, 2010 At 10:39 PMThe addition of shrimp, shrimp paste, tamarind and soy sauce to the water spinach looks delicious. I just learned about this tropical green from an African cookbook. Although, I'm not an expert in Southern African cusine, my first thought is that they're similar to Southeast Asian recipes. I haven't been able to see water spinach in the average grocery store, but I'm in New York, and it's probably located in an Asian market.Reply
  6. Indonesia-Eats July 9, 2010 At 12:25 AMLia: I think people who grew up in SE Asian countries and China love this :)TasteHongkong:Nice to know the Cantonese nameAnn: yesSanura: I have read a South African cookbook before and the history of its cuisine. Back then, many Javanese workers came to this country when Indonesia was still occupied by the Dutch. Those people have enriched the food. I realized the Southern African has sambal and sate also.Yes, water spinach is usually located at the Asian markets. Although in Winnipeg, I sometimes see them at big grocers.Reply
  7. Anncoo July 9, 2010 At 2:10 AMThis is one of my favorite too! Is Water Spinach – kangkung? Sometimes we fry it with fermented tofu and chilli.Reply
  8. Sanura July 9, 2010 At 5:39 AMThe addition of shrimp, shrimp paste, tamarind and soy sauce to the water spinach looks delicious. I just learned about this tropical green from an African cookbook. Although, I'm not an expert in Southern African cusine, my first thought is that they're similar to Southeast Asian recipes. I haven't been able to see water spinach in the average grocery store, but I'm in New York, and it's probably located in an Asian market.Reply
  9. Indonesia-Eats July 9, 2010 At 7:25 AMLia: I think people who grew up in SE Asian countries and China love this 🙂TasteHongkong:Nice to know the Cantonese nameAnn: yesSanura: I have read a South African cookbook before and the history of its cuisine. Back then, many Javanese workers came to this country when Indonesia was still occupied by the Dutch. Those people have enriched the food. I realized the Southern African has sambal and sate also.Yes, water spinach is usually located at the Asian markets. Although in Winnipeg, I sometimes see them at big grocers.Reply
  10. Little Corner of Mine July 9, 2010 At 9:16 AMDelicious, I just cooked a similar version yesterday. Just loved kangkung!Reply
  11. pigpigscorner July 9, 2010 At 1:56 PMKangkung belacan! nom nom nomReply
  12. Biren July 9, 2010 At 11:18 PMThis looks delicious with the shrimps!Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.Reply
  13. Big BOys Oven July 10, 2010 At 1:29 AMOMG! You got my favourite dish spread so sexy lovely, love kangkung! so adoreable!Reply
  14. Biren July 10, 2010 At 6:18 AMThis looks delicious with the shrimps!Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.Reply
  15. Amy B. July 10, 2010 At 12:14 PMThere's a Filipino dish that's synonymous to this, but then again maybe because of the terrace 🙂 You got it right, we call it bagoong alamang and i love it! Eat with rice and mmmm my lunch would be heavenly! Thanks for sharing! I also would like to share this to other Foodista readers especially the South East asian readers who love terrace as much as we do! Just add the foodista widget for shrimp at the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks! Kudos! 🙂Reply
  16. Amy B. July 10, 2010 At 7:14 PMThere's a Filipino dish that's synonymous to this, but then again maybe because of the terrace 🙂 You got it right, we call it bagoong alamang and i love it! Eat with rice and mmmm my lunch would be heavenly! Thanks for sharing! I also would like to share this to other Foodista readers especially the South East asian readers who love terrace as much as we do! Just add the foodista widget for shrimp at the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks! Kudos! 🙂Reply
  17. MaryMoh July 10, 2010 At 10:15 PMI love this water spinach, called 'kangkong' in Malaysia. On my recent visit back, I ate almost everyday, fried with belachan and chilies…mmm…so delicious!!Reply
  18. tigerfish July 12, 2010 At 1:58 AMNeed good heat in the wok to make a perfect stir fry kang kong…so good with steamed rice.Reply
  19. tigerfish July 12, 2010 At 8:58 AMNeed good heat in the wok to make a perfect stir fry kang kong…so good with steamed rice.Reply
  20. Cynthia July 12, 2010 At 1:12 PMYoung lady I have been following you on Food Gawker and I have to say that you have been cooking up a storm!Reply
  21. Mr. Goorme July 12, 2010 At 4:49 PMI just realized that you are from Ny. Siok's Kampoang :)Greetings!!Reply
  22. Cynthia July 12, 2010 At 8:12 PMYoung lady I have been following you on Food Gawker and I have to say that you have been cooking up a storm!Reply
  23. Mr. Goorme July 12, 2010 At 11:49 PMI just realized that you are from Ny. Siok's Kampoang 🙂Greetings!!Reply
  24. tatabonita July 13, 2010 At 12:22 AMWuiiiihhh…….. sedaaap mantap jaya iki mbak Pep :D. Dinikmati karo iwak tongkol goreng rasane yo tambah tralala trilili wae. Tapi aku jarang maem ini isuk2, soale gak tau kenapa mesti ngantuk, hehehehe 😀Reply
  25. tatabonita July 13, 2010 At 7:22 AMWuiiiihhh…….. sedaaap mantap jaya iki mbak Pep :D. Dinikmati karo iwak tongkol goreng rasane yo tambah tralala trilili wae. Tapi aku jarang maem ini isuk2, soale gak tau kenapa mesti ngantuk, hehehehe 😀Reply
  26. ☺lani☺ July 14, 2010 At 7:48 AMthis looks yum!Reply
  27. mycookinghut July 18, 2010 At 1:51 AMkangkong is always my fav.. I had lots of it when I was in SE Asia..Reply
  28. Permaculture Plants: Water Spinach or Kangkong | Temperate Climate Permaculture January 29, 2014 At 4:08 PM[…] Indonesian Stir-Fried Water Spinach (Cah Kangkung Terasi) […]Reply
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