Not so easy…

It’s so easy, they keep telling me – you just stick the stalks in the ground and they will grow. I see it growing everywhere, the cangkuk manis

Cangkuk manis
*Archive photo*

…and unfortunately, though that was exactly what I did, nothing ever came out of it.

This time around, I did get some leaves out of the many stalks that I planted – about half of them simply dried up eventually so I pulled them out and threw them away. The rest did sprout some leaves but a lot of them were eaten by pests…

Eaten by pests

…and this was all that I could harvest…

My miserable harvest

…from all my effort in planting my own.

After tearing them into bits…

Torn

…I think I only had a few spoons of the vegetable left.

Never mind! Something is better than nothing and I decided to cook the Melanau kampung-style sayur rebus with the little that I had. There was some pumpkin in the fridge so I decided to use a bit of that. Otherwise, sweet baby corn would be  a great combination as well. Of course, there are a whole lot of other possibilities – I did blog about some of them before – and one is as nice as the other.

The basic ingredients needed would be some belacan (dried prawn paste) and chili…

Belacan chili and pumpkin

…and ikan bilis (dried anchovies) to make the stock for the soup but I did not need the latter that day as I would be adding a few of the freshwater prawns…

Freshwater prawns

…that I bought and used around half of them to cook my udang masak kunyit, another ethnic Melanau kampung-style delight.

I boiled the belacan and chili and simmered until the fragrance and the flavour had come out before adding the prawns. Once they were cooked, I added the pumpkin and continued simmering till it had gone soft. Finally, I added the cangkuk manis and once blanched, it was ready to be served…

Sayur rebus

You would be able to taste the sweetness and flavours of all the ingredients that went into the dish – it had a light and refreshing taste but some who are more used to having salt and msg in their food may prefer to add some as they probably would find it a little bland.

The cangkuk manis was really very nice – so very soft and sweet unlike some that we may get when we buy those from the wet market, probably because they are a little old already.