Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From the Kitchen of Mama Wong - Part 1

Sambal Kang Kong

This one's a favorite of mine whenever I eat out - whether it's a restaurant or a neighborhood eatery. You'll find that the one I'm going to introduce is a slightly drier variety from those served outside my house, but if you dare give it a try I guarantee you'll get a pleasant surprise from the heavenly combination of dried shrimp, garlic, and chilli.

Ingredients -
Kang Kong (1 batch), chilli padi (3), red chilli (1), garlic (3 cloves), dried shrimp (a handful)

Let's start!

Making the Cut
Next we clean the kang kong. I apologize to all those who don't know what a kang kong is; you've not tasted one of the best greens grown by man.

Moving on we'll snip off the edible parts of the kang kong with our fingers and then toss out the roots and the hard lower stem of the vegetable. Once the whole batch is snipped, have them soak in a basin of water to get rid of the soil and snails that may have gathered.

Seven (Hundred) Pounds
And while we wait for the greens to soak, we'll move on to preparing the shrimp floss. We'll begin by pounding the chillies in a mortar and pestle till it's hardly anything. Add in the garlic cloves in a comfortable amount, and then finishing it off my venting your tired forearms on the shrimp. Once they're a consistent dry floss, scoop them up and put them aside in anticipation for frying.

Note: You are able to buy pre-made dried shrimp at markets. Those usually do the trick if you neighbor threatened to burn a hole in your floor just so he can fume you whenever you start on the m&p.

Always Wear Protection
The first time I made Sambal Kang Kong, I did it shirtless. I'll treat that as an initiation ceremony - guys take off your shirts, and gals remember to take a video (my email's on the left frame under PROFILE).

Heat up a good amount of oil (I use Knife brand) because the shrimp floss will soak it all up leaving nothing for the vegs. Once the oils starts to cook, put on your shirts and toss in the shrimp floss. Prepare for a splatter fest (especially if you didn't pound it thoroughly enough coz that'll mean there's still plenty of moisture in them chillies).

Keep the heat up and toss away, not letting the floss char. Once you catch the smell of cooked shrimp floss, toss in the greens.

Throw those around in the wok for about 2-3 minutes and you will notice the greens getting darker. Once they're completely flattened and dark, toss in a pinch of salt (or 2. or 3) to taste.

Whip them around for a minute and you're good to go.

Note: If you're using store-bought floss, be sure to add in a pinch of chopped garlic to the oil (use a lot less than previously mentioned) and fry them till fragtant before throwing in the vegs to fry before ending it off with the floss and then salt.

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