Stir-Fried Water Spinach - Two Ways | Introducing two ways to cook stir-fried water spinach, and both require fewer than five ingredients. Try out this Chinese leafy green to add color and nutrition to your dinner table. {Vegan, Gluten-Free}
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5 from 1 vote

Stir Fried Water Spinach - Two Ways

Introducing two ways to cook stir-fried water spinach, and both require fewer than five ingredients. Try out this Chinese leafy green to add color and nutrition to your dinner table. {Vegan, Gluten-Free}
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Calories: 93kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 1 batch water spinach (*Footnote 1)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil (*Footnote 2)
  • 2 to 3 Chinese chili peppers , dried (*Footnote 3)

Method 1 - Stir-fried water spinach with fermented tofu sauce

  • 2 blocks (1 tablespoon) fermented tofu (*Footnote 4)
  • 2 teaspoons liquid from the jar of fermented tofu
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic , sliced

Method 2 - Stir-fried water spinach with garlic

  • 6 cloves garlic , minced and separated
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or chicken stock, or vegetable stock)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Prepare the water spinach by cutting off the tough stems, usually 2 to 3 inches from the bottom end. Discard the leaves that are withered, have brown spots, or have turned yellow. Thoroughly rinse with tap water and transfer to a colander to drain. Separate the stems and leaves with a pair of kitchen scissors. Cut the stems into 1-inch long pieces.

Method 1

  • Add the fermented tofu, the liquid from the jar, and the sugar into a small bowl. Use the back of your spoon to mash the tofu and stir it with the rest of the ingredients to make it into a sauce.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet (or woover medium-high heat until hot. Break apart the chili peppers and add them into the skillet. Add the garlic. Stir a few times to release the fragrance.
  • Add the stems of the water spinach to the skillet. Cook and stir for a minute.
  • Add the leaves of the water spinach. Cook, flipping occasionally using your spatula, until most of the parts are withered.
  • Pour in the fermented tofu sauce. Stir until the water spinach turns tender and the sauce is evenly mixed. Transfer everything to a plate. Serve hot.

Method 2

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet (or woover medium-high heat until hot. Break apart the chili peppers and add them into the skillet. Add half of the garlic. Stir a few times to release the fragrance.
  • Add the stems of the water spinach to the skillet. Cook and stir for a minute.
  • Add the leaves of the water spinach. Cook, flipping occasionally using your spatula, a few times. Pour in the Shaoxing wine and sprinkle with salt. Cook and stir until most of the parts are withered.
  • Add the remaining garlic. Stir a few times to mix well. Transfer everything to a plate. Serve hot.

Notes

  1. It’s hard to measure water spinach properly because it all depends on how much edible material you get after the prep. For example, sometimes I only get two-thirds of the original batch after cutting off the tough parts. In this recipe, I used 10 oz. (300 g) of water spinach after the prep.
  2. To make stir-fried water spinach very tasty and properly seared, you should always use a bit more oil. If you prefer a healthier dish, you can reduce the oil to 1 tablespoon. During the stir fry, if the pan gets too dry, you can add a splash of Shaoxing wine or chicken stock so the veggies won’t burn.
  3. The chili peppers add a heavenly smokiness and aroma to the dish. If you use mild Chinese chili peppers, the dish won’t end up very spicy. If you don’t like any spicy taste, remove and discard the seeds from the chili peppers.
  4. You can either use the red fermented tofu or white fermented tofu in this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.4g | Protein: 2.2g | Fat: 6.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 2.1g | Calcium: 5% | Iron: 10%