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Stir-fried Yam Leaf (Sweet Potato Leaf) with Belacan (Shrimp Paste) Recipe

Belacan Yam Leaf (Sweet Potato Leaf) recipe - A signature Malaysian dish called kangkung belacan or stir-fried water spinach/morning glory with shrimp paste. The key ingredient is none other than belacan, the Malaysian variety of shrimp paste. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Malaysian
Keyword Belacan Yam Leaf
Servings 4 people
Calories 188 kcal



  • 1 box yam leaf, approximately 0.8 lb
  • 1 tablespoon belacan/shrimp paste
  • 2 red bird's eye chilies or 1 regular red chili, remove seeds and thinly cut
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon roasted chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp
  • 3 dashes fish sauce

Roasted Chili Paste:

  • 1 handful dried chilies
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • water


  1. Grind the dried chilies and cooking oil in a blender. Add a little water while blending.

  2. Heat the wok, pour some cooking oil and stir-fry the chili paste for about 3 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for 10 minutes, then coarsely pound them using mortar and pestle. Set aside.

  4. Cut the stems of the yam leaf. Keep only the tender part of the stems. Rinse with cold water and then set aside.

  5. Fire up the wok to HIGH heat and add the cooking oil. Wait till smoke comes out from the wok then add in the chopped garlic. Do a quick stir, add in the belacan, dried shrimp, and roasted chili paste and continue stirring. As soon as you smell the pungent aroma of belacan, toss in the yam leaf. Stir continuously until the leaves started to wilt. Add in a few dashes of fish sauce, continue stirring (make sure the color of the vegetable remains green). Dish up and serve hot.

Recipe Notes

In the US, sweet potato leaf (蕃薯叶) is marketed as yam leaf. If you use water spinach, the recipe works the same. Dried shrimps should complement the belacan instead of competing with it, so you don't want to use too much of them.

Nutrition Facts
Stir-fried Yam Leaf (Sweet Potato Leaf) with Belacan (Shrimp Paste) Recipe
Amount Per Serving (4 people)
Calories 188 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 85mg28%
Sodium 323mg14%
Potassium 24mg1%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.