Author Notes: Most Thanksgiving dinners in my memory include the string bean casserole (the canned soup and the fried onion company must do a lot of their business on this holiday) and Creamed Spinach. Sometimes with all the calorie-heavy sides, you just want a salad or simple greens. There’s another option available around this time of year--the Chinese Water Spinach. It cooks similarly to the spinach we are all familiar with, reducing to about a third of the amount originally thrown in the pan, but it packs the added bonus of thin hollow stems, that when cooked, add a crunch to leafy greens. The chili peppers add a bite to the dish--just don't actually bite into them.
Serves 4 as a side
- 1 bunch water spinach (ong choy, water morning glory)
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 4-5 Thai peppers (or bird peppers)
- 1 tablespoon Chili Shrimp Paste (garlic, black bean, sugar, shrimp paste, soy oil) OR a mixture of 1 Tablespoon black bean sauce + 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- Crush the garlic and lightly smash the chili peppers (do not cut or grind)
- Wash and cut the water spinach into three inch long pieces.
- Heat up the grape seed oil in a wok and add the garlic and chili peppers. (Medium heat)
- Stir around and add the chili shrimp paste (or black bean sauce + sugar)
- Dump the water spinach in and stir fry, rotating the spinach to coat with the sauce and cook for about 3 minutes. You don’t need to add water or broth, as the spinach tends to give off a lot of liquid.
- Add fish sauce.
- Mix together and take the spinach off the burner.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Greens
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side