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Mie Kangkung (Water Spinach Chicken Noodle Soup)

Posting Date: 03/03/19

Mie Kangkung (Water Spinach Chicken Noodle Soup)

Mie Kangkung (Water Spinach Chicken Noodle Soup) tastes sweet from sweet soy sauce, salty from salt and oyster sauce, hot from chili pepper, and savory from dried shrimp and oyster sauce. It originated in Jakarta. Kangkung means water spinach and mie means noodles. You can find it in restaurants and street vendors. It is served with lime wedge and chili paste on the side and considered as main course. The lime wedge adds tart taste. Chili paste is added if you want it extra hot. I love this dish because of the complex flavor of it. Unlike any noodle soups, this soup is full of different flavors that are balanced. It is perfect in cold or rainy days.

The soup is served with water spinach. Water spinach is blanched prior to serving. It is also called water morning glory or ong choy in Chinese. In the background of the picture, it shows how it looks like in case you are not familiar with it. You may be able to find it in Asian stores but they are not always available. If you cannot find it, you can substitute with bok choy or regular spinach. In my opinion, bok choy is a better substitution because it adds crunchiness. The stem of water spinach is crunchy. So, it gives similar texture as water spinach.

Originally, the spice paste uses fresh chili peppers. Since it is sometimes difficult to find them in my Asian stores, I substitute it with sambal oelek. You can also use red chili flakes.

The recipe serves 3-4 people.


  • 12 oz fresh noodles or 4 personal servings fresh noodles, cooked according to package directions, rinsed with cold water to prevent sticking to each other, and drained on colander to remove excess water. Instead of fresh noodles, you may use dried noodles.
  • For ice bath: 1.5 cups of ice cubes
  • For ice bath: cold water
  • 250 grams water spinach (also called water morning glory, ong choy), sliced to about 1.75" length. Substitute with bok choy if you cannot find it in Asian stores.
  • For spice paste: 3 small or 1 large size shallot, quartered
  • For spice paste: 5 cloves of garlic, halved
  • For spice paste: 1 tablespoon sambal oelek. You can adjust the amount depending on your tolerance to heat. I find 1 tablespoon to be mild, so adjust accordingly. You can use fresh chili peppers if preferred. If so, adjust the amount according to your tolerance to the heat.
  • For spice paste: 1 teaspoon dried shrimp or ebi. You can find dried shrimp in Asian stores.
  • 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite size
  • 1.5 tablespoons sweet soy sauce or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce or to taste
  • 10 white mushroom, sliced
  • 1000 ml water
  • 4 cubes of chicken bouillon. If you use bouillon powder, use the amount needed to make 1000 ml chicken broth.
  • pinch of black pepper or to taste
  • pinch of salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • For thickening: 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • For thickening: 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup beansprouts, rinsed with hot water and drained
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • Optional: fried onions
  • Optional: sambal oelek


  1. To make an ice bath: Place some ice cubes in a big bowl. Add cold water into the bowl until it is 3/4th full.
  2. Boil some water in a pot. Once it is boiling, add water spinach and cook it for 1 min. Drain the liquid and place the water spinach into the ice bath to stop cooking. Leave it for 5 min. Take the water spinach out of the ice bath. Leave it on a colander to drain excess water.
  3. To make spice paste: Place shallots, garlic, sambal oelek, and dried shrimp into a food processor. Process until it becomes smooth paste.
  4. Add vegetable oil into a pot. Heat it over medium high heat. Add spice paste into the pot. Saute until it becomes fragrant and the shallots becomes soft. Add chicken into the pot. Stir fry the chicken until it is cooked. Add sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, and mushroom into the pot. Stir fry so that the chicken is coated with the seasoning. Add water and chicken bouillon into the pot. Stir the liquid so that chicken bouillon is dissolved. Add pepper, salt, and sugar into the pot. Let the broth come into a boil. Add corn starch and water into a small bowl. Whisk with a fork to mix it. Pour the thickening into the pot. Stir to combine. Taste the broth and add more seasoning (sweet soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper) if needed. Let the broth simmer for 15 min. Remove from the heat. Add green onion.
  5. To serve it, divide noodles, beansprouts, and water spinach into 3 separate bowls. Scoop the broth into each bowl, making sure you put the chicken and mushroom on each bowl. Serve it with lime wedge on the side. Top it with fried onion if preferred. Serve it with sambal oelek on the side if you want extra heat.

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