Make Ahead

Spicy Water Spinach

November 17, 2010
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.
edamame2003

  • Serves 4 as a side
Ingredients
  • 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
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Crush the garlic and lightly smash the chili peppers (do not cut or grind)
  2. Wash and cut the water spinach into three inch long pieces.
  3. Heat up the grape seed oil in a wok and add the garlic and chili peppers. (Medium heat)
  4. Stir around and add the chili shrimp paste (or black bean sauce + sugar)
  5. 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.
  6. Add fish sauce.
  7. Mix together and take the spinach off the burner.

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Review
I work in the entertainment business, and in my free time, I really enjoy growing my own vegetables, trolling my local farmers markets and trying to re-create yummy dishes I eat at my favorite restaurants. My son is a big influence on how and what I cook. He's my guinea pig and promises to try anything I make once. Luckily the recipes on food52 are bountiful and delicious.