Water Spinach also known as Water Convolvulus is a tropical semi aquatic plant grown as a leaf vegetable. It is commonly grown in parts of Asia and Southeast Asia. It is known in those parts as “kangkong” or “ong choy”. A popular way of preparing this vegetable is to fry it with chili and shrimp paste. Shrimp paste also known as “belacan” has a strong smell but provides great flavor. Its use is widespread in Southeast Asia and has recently made culinary inroads to China and Japan. Premium grade shrimp paste is rarely found in the United States.
A simple way of preparing this vegetable is to do a stir fry with just minced garlic. Chilis and fermented bean curd can be added for greater flavor. This dish is best served with steaming bowls of cooked rice.
When I saw this vegetable recently at the Asian market, it reminded me of LeQuan at Luv to Eat. LeQuan cooks some of the most delectable Chinese dishes. The “ong choy” is one of her favorite vegetables and she often cook this dish which she calls Fuyu Ong Choy. Her version has a little more gravy with the addition of rice wine.
The secret to a great stir-fry is to get the pan really, really hot and have the ingredients well drained. The hot pan will sear the food, sealing in the juices. In the case of vegetables, I like to prepare, wash, and leave them to drain in a colander at least an hour before frying. If time does not permit, I use a salad spinner to get rid of as much water as possible.
Spicy Fermented Bean Curd Water Spinach
1 lb water spinach, cut into 3-inch lengths
3 to 4 cubes fermented soybean curds
2 tsp garlic chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
Be sure to rinse water spinach well as it can be gritty. Allow vegetables to drain in colander for at least an hour or use a salad spinner to get rid of excessive water.
In a large pan or wok, heat oil. Add minced garlic and sauté till fragrant. Add fermented bean curds, mashing with your spatula for about a minute. Add garlic chili sauce and stir to combine. Quickly add vegetables and stir fry on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until vegetables are wilted. Remove and serve immediately.
Often times an egg or tofu dish is prepared as a filler dish in an Asian meal. These are quick and easy dishes using ingredients from the fridge or pantry. One such dish is my Steamed Tofu. This tofu is simple, healthy, and delicious. Only takes about 5 to 6 minutes to prepare. All the cooking is done in the microwave and cleanup is minimal.
Simple home-cooked meal with oi kimchi, beef stew, lotus root and peanut soup, steaming bowl of white rice, and omelet.
This omelet is prepared with whatever suitable vegetables you may have in the fridge or pantry. Onions, tomatoes, green beans, Chinese chives, and green onions are all good choices. For a picture of Chinese chives, refer to my post on Chinese Savory Pancakes.
Omelet with Chinese Chives and Onions
3 large eggs
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 oz Chinese chives, sliced into 1-inch lengths
1 red Anaheim chili, seeded and finely sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
Pepper to taste
1 tbsp canola oil
Crack the three eggs into a medium sized bowl. Add soy sauce and pepper. Whisk with a fork until well combined.
Heat oil in a medium sized pan. Fry onions until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add Chinese chives and chili and fry for another minute or so. Reduce heat to medium. Pour in eggs to cover base of pan. Let cook for about 2 minutes. Using a wide, flat spatula flip eggs in sections and let cook for another 2 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
Not too long ago I received this award from these five wonderful bloggers and today I would like to acknowledge and thank three more who have so kindly nominated me. They are:
1. Christiane at The Mom Chef. She has a truly unique blog where she writes about making food from magazine recipes and whether those recipes are good and accurate. She takes the guess work out for us.
2. Mina at Authentic Vegetarian Recipes. She blogs about mouth-watering traditional home-cooked Indian food.
3. Megan at Foodalution. Megan blogs out of Madison, Wisconsin using farm fresh ingredients. She also shares with us her delicious food finds.
Now, to share another fun(?) summer activity with you…..
All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.
All food and no work, makes Jack a flabby boy.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!