Plecing Kangkung (Lombok-Style Water Spinach Salad) Recipe

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Plecing Kangkung

Plecing Kangkung is a refreshing salad that contains kangkung (water spinach) and mung bean sprouts with sambal and grated coconut as the dressing. Don’t forget fried peanuts for the crunch factor. This salad is popular in Lombok to company Ayam Bakar Taliwang (BBQ Sweet and Spicy Chicken) and Sate Rembiga (Spiced Beef Sate). I previously posted the recipe of Sate Rembiga if you want to make a combination meal.

Water spinach is quite popular green vegetables in Asia. Plecing Kangkung, Mie Kangkung Jakarta (Chicken Noodles with Water Spinach), Cah Kangkung (Stir Fry Water Spinach; it can be with kecap manis, terasi-fremented shrimp paste or tauco-fermented soy beans), or just boil or blanch them to company your meal are some of the dishes that are made with water spinach in Indonesia.

It’s a cheap green vegetable resource in Indonesia with many nutritional values. A 100 gram serving contains water (90%), protein (3%), fibre (3%), fat (0.9%), carbohydrate (4.3%), minerals (2%), nicotinamide (0.6mg), riboflavin (120mg), vitamin C (137mg) and vitamin E (11mg). It also contains carotene, amino acids including polyphenol (an antioxidant), and minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium. However, water spinach is not commonly eaten among Canadians who don’t have any Asian descendants.

As beautiful as its neighbourhood island which is located just on the east coast of Bali, Lombok is worth to be visited. It’s NOT only for the yummy foods, Lombok’s gorgeous view has been mesmerizing many tourists with less busy environment compare to Bali. I was raised and grew up in Java, the most heavily populated island in the country. I’m ashamed not to take the opportunity to travel more within the country back then. However, Lombok is on my bucket list to travel for my future preference.

Plecing Kangkung
Lombok-Style Water Spinach with Sambal and Grated Coconut

Ingredients:
Ingredients
1 lb (454 grams) kangkung (water spinach), cleaned by soaking in a mix of vinegar base and salt for 10 minutes and discard any tough stems) and drain
7 oz (200 grams) mung bean sprouts (tauge)
fries or roasted peanuts, preferably the skins-on

Sambal:
20 grams peeled shallots
80 grams fresno or cayenne red chilis (cayenne will be hotter than fresno), discard the seeds
10 grams bird’s eye chili
30 grams roma’s tomato, quarted
4 grams gula aren (Indonesian palm sugar)
4 grams roasted terasi (dried fermented shrimp paste)
1 gram seasalt
1-2 nasranan mandarin or jeruk limo (Citrus amblycapra )*, squeezed
oil (I’m using grapeseed oil)

Grated Coconut Dressing:
1/4 cup frozen grated coconut, thawed (click the link to know what kind frozen coconut that I usually use)

Cook’s Note:
Adjust the heat level to your tastebuds. If you can’t find any bird’s chilies, fresh red chilies that are available in your area.

I prefer to use gula aren than other countries palm sugar. Gula aren has a darker colour and sweeter in my opinion.

You can substitute with regular lime

Directions:
Sambal:
1. Grind all ingredients excpet tomato and lime with a mortar and pestle or a chopper. Add tomato and regrind.
2. Preheat the won or sauce pan, add oil and stir fry the sambal. Continue sauteeing until sambal is not too watery. Add lime juice and remove from heat. Set a side.

Grated Coconut Dressing
1. Toast the thawed grated coconut just to give a smoky flavour but don’t toast until too brown.
2. Clean your chopper with toasted grated coconut so the coconut will have a bit spicy flavour.

Serving Plecing Kangkung
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the kangkung and let it to another boil. With a colander, drain the water off. Put blanched kangkung in a bowl of iced water and ice to preserve its fresh green color.

2. In a colander, put bean sprouts and pour the hot water over. Pour cold water over.

3. Drain the kangkung off. Place it with bean sprouts in a salad bowl. Scoop the sambal and grated coconut over. Toss and sprinkle fried peanuts over. Do this step when you are ready to eat the salad.

Ready to be eaten with Sate Rembiga.

SELAMAT MAKAN!!! EET SMAKELIJK!!!

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About the Author

An 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.