How to Prepare Dried Shrimp

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Kangkong Belacan

Kangkung stir- fried with chilli, garlic, minced dried shrimp and shrimp paste

Dried shrimp is one of those ubiquitous ingredients in Malaysian and Southeast Asian cooking, but one that a lot of Westerners aren’t perhaps familiar with. It’s shrimp that’s been sun-dried and shrunk and is readily available at wet markets in Southeast Asia, and in Asian grocery stores pretty much everywhere.

It’s used in many and varied ways, sometimes whole and oftentimes minced; in this 2-minute video I show you how to prepare it if you were using it minced.

Click to watch on YouTube >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIcWR8Rmcmg

Recipes that come to mind are Kangkung Belacan (one of my favourite vegetable dishes consisting of kangkung stir-fried with dried shrimp, belacan, garlic, onion and chilli), in some types of fried rice, as well as in some laksas, curry pastes and sambals.

You should find it in the dry goods section of Asian grocery stores, though often the higher-grade dried shrimps may be kept at the counter because of their price point. The type I get is actually kept in the refrigerator – and while it keeps quite well outside of it, it does have a tendency to get mouldy after awhile, so best to freeze/chill it until use.

Dried shrimp is called several names in different regions in Asia:

  • Indonesia – ebi
  • Malaysia – udang kering (Malay), har mai (Cantonese)
  • Myanmar – bazun-chauk
  • Thailand – kung haeng
  • Philippines – hibi/hibe
  • Vietnam – tôm khô
  • India – chenna kunni

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