Simple and tasty Stir Fry Spicy Water Spinach (kangkung/convolvulus) flavored with fermented soybean curds and garlic chili sauce.
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. This dish is known as Kangkung Belacan. 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.
A simple way of preparing this vegetable is to do a stir fry with just minced garlic. Chilies and fermented bean curd can be added for greater flavor. This Stir Fry Spicy Water Spinach is best served with steaming bowls of white rice. When I bought some water spinach recently at the Asian market, it reminded me of LeQuan at Luv to Eat. LeQuan cooks some of the most delectable Chinese dishes. Ong choy is one of her favorite vegetables and she often cooks this Fuyu Ong Choy dish. 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.
- 1 lb kangkung / water spinach / ong choy / convolvulus, cut into 3-inch lengths (450g)
- 3 to 4 fermented soybean curds
- 2 tsp garlic chili sauce
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tbsp 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 for 1 minute. Add fermented bean curds, mashing with your spatula for another minute. Add garlic chili sauce and stir to combine.
- Quickly add drained water spinach 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 dish is simple, healthy, and delicious. Only takes about 12 minutes to prepare. All the cooking is done in the microwave and cleanup is minimal.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎