Cah Kangkung: Simple Stir-Fried Water Spinach

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Cah kangkung is a popular dish in Chinese restaurants in Indonesia. When you order it at restaurants, the dish typically consists of kangkung (water spinach) sauteed with garlic, chillies, shrimp paste, taoco (fermented yellow soybeans) and other ingredients. Sometimes meat is added, and other times, it’s just plain kangkung with spices. It’s one of my favourite dishes because it’s simple yet tasty.  

For this recipe, I made super-simple cah kangkung with just onion, garlic and oyster sauce. This kangkung recipe is easy, fast and yummy. If you happen to have baceman bawang on hand, it will make an incredible base for this recipe. Otherwise, finely-minced garlic fried with onions is also great. Don’t forget to saute the vegetable briefly over high heat to get the freshest and most flavourful cah kangkung


Cah kangkung is not spicy at all, so it’s enjoyable for people who can’t eat spicy food, or even for children (don’t forget to help them cut the veggies into small pieces, though).

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Cah Kangkung: Simple Stir-Fried Kangkung (Water Spinach)

Cah Kangkung: Simple Stir-Fried Kangkung (Water Spinach)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Low Fat


Cah kangkung is an Indonesian-Chinese dish of stir-fried water spinach. This extremely simple recipe requires just onion, garlic and oyster sauce for a quick and delicious meal.


  • 1 bunch of kangkung (water spinach), 
  • 0.5 onion, peeled, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • A pinch of white pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 0.5 cube vegetable stock (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


  1. Cut the kangkung into bite-sized pieces, wash thoroughly, set aside.
  2. Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium high heat.
  3. Saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  4. Add the kangkung.

    Add the kangkung

  5. Add the salt, pepper powder and vegetable stock. Mix well.
  6. Add the oyster sauce, cook for another 1 minute.
  7. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.


  • For sambal addicts who need an extra kick for this dish, I recommend sambal terasi as an accompaniment.

Keywords: Quick & Easy, Non-spicy, Common Ingredients

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