#FoodForThought: Lemak Sweet Potatoes and Kang Kong
Lemak sweet potatoes and kang kong - cubed sweet potato simmered in a spicy, coconut milk-based shrimp gravy, and complete with tender kang kong leaves and stems. 🌱🥔🥥
During the Japanese Occupation, staples such as meat, rice, flour, salt, and sugar — the key ingredients to many dishes — were suddenly in short supply. To survive, people had to adapt by eating more of other foods, and spun creative combinations from what was available then. In this dish, sweet potatoes took the place of chicken or beef. Creamy coconut milk provided some protein, while small doses of fermented shrimp paste packed potent umami power. Chillis brought zing to just about anything. And leafy greens harvested from the wild or grown in gardens padded out meals with filling fibre.
It wasn’t just all boiled sweet potatoes and biscuits. Food was one way to raise morale to endure the deprivations of war. And far from being tasteless, many of the meals from our wartime kitchens were packed with flavours and vitamins from fresh greens, roots, and shoots. Stay tuned as we tuck into the histories of more wartime dishes. #FoodForThought
🧑🍳 Recipe: Wartime Kitchen (Wong Hong Suen)