A few months ago I bought a bottle of Lee Kum Kee's Fine Shrimp Sauce. I was curious because this is a sauce version of belacan.
As usual, whatever I buy always sits in my pantry and sometimes they expire even before I have had the chance to use them.
Then Choi Yen posted her recipe for Stir Fried Spinach with Shrimp Paste and that prompted me to finally open up my bottle of shrimp sauce. I took a sniff and eeks! it was very, very pungent. I feel that it is smellier (since it is in wet form) than belacan (which I think is aromatic especially when toasted).
The smell if I am to describe it in Hokkien is "au long", which is stronger than pungent, i.e. putrid. But whatever, since I already bought it, I was determined to use it and not to waste. Incidentally, not too long ago I bought a bottle of cincaluk for purpose of making kimchi.
When I opened the bottle cap, the contents gushed out (like champagne), all bubbly and stinky. The smell, oh my God, was nauseating. Suffice to say, I tossed the whole bottle (making sure to wrap it up securely) and swore never to buy cincaluk ever again.
I defrosted a tub of my ready made sambal and during my grocery run, I bought a bundle of kangkung. Back home, I trimmed the kangkung and gave it a good wash. That was when I recalled why I stopped buying kangkung - it so dirty, full of grit and grime. The organic ones are cleaner but more expensive.
To cook, I heated some oil in the wok and sauteed the rempah together with about a teaspoon of the shrimp paste. I'm afraid I disliked the smell but as the rempah and shrimp paste cooked further, the pungent smell mellowed and became acceptable.
Then I added the kangkung stems (I tenderized them by pressing them between my fingers first) followed by the leaves and stir fried until the kangkung was wilted. I did not add any water, preferring to let the vegetable cook in its own moisture.
My fried kangkung turned out delicious and I have no regrets buying the shrimp sauce. I might try some other recipes using this sauce.
This omelette was part of lunch. I know the shape is funny because my omelettes never turn out in a perfect circle.
Early this morning Ah Girl went outside right after breakfast but Belle Belle stayed inside. She happily lepak-lepak on Ah Girl's favorite rugs.
I can't wait to use my sambal and the shrimp sauce to cook other vegetables like sweet potato leaves, lady's fingers and brinjals.