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Water Spinach with Fermented Bean Curd Recipe

Updated on August 3, 2012
Ony Choy - Water Spinach
Ony Choy - Water Spinach | Source

Water spinach is also called Ong Choy or hollow vegetable in Chinese because of its stems are hollow. Water spinach is one of the main vegetables in Chinese food. During the peak seasons - summer and fall, water spinach is one of the frequently served vegetables in Chinese Restaurants. It is green with long and narrow leaves. It tastes delicious especially when it is stir-fried. I grew up in a small town in China called Dowmen where there were plenty of water spinach to harvest during the summers and falls. Since there weren't any refrigerators back then and the market was only five minutes walk, we always bought the vegetables that were fresh from the field. Water spinach has been one of my favorite vegetables because of its delicious taste and the healthy benefits.

The Benefits of Water Spinach:

  • Water Spinach is rich in dietary fiber, which helps body detoxification by promoting intestinal peristalsis and accelerating bowel movements.
  • Water spinach contains chlorophyll which helps reduce bad breath and clean teeth.
  • Water spinach also has pectin which helps reduce cholesterol and lower blood sugar. Therefore it is good for diabetic patients.
  • Water spinach belongs to cool food group which helps lower your internal heat. Therefore it is good for you to eat after you've consumed too much fried food - one of the main causes of internal heat within a body.

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How to Select Ong Choy - Water SpinachOng Choy - Water Spinach
How to Select Ong Choy - Water Spinach
How to Select Ong Choy - Water Spinach | Source
Ong Choy - Water Spinach
Ong Choy - Water Spinach

How to Pick Good Quality Water Spinach

The main harvest seasons for water spinach are summer and fall. Although you might find water spinach during other seasons but it will cost you more. Water spinach doesn't keep well for very long, so it's best to use it within a few days after you've purchased it. Here are some tips on how to find good quality of water spinach:

  • Leaves should looks moist, green, and a bit shiny, not dry, dull, black and wilted.
  • Stem should be small with bright green.
  • The end of the stem should be small and smooth. It should produce a crispy sound when you squeeze or smash it. It should also be able to be snapped off very easily. If you feel the end of the stem is big and lumpy, it is too mature to eat.

How do you like this recipe?

5 stars from 1 rating of Water Spinach with Bean Curd

Cook Time

Prep time: 8 min
Cook time: 6 min
Ready in: 14 min
Yields: 2 Servings
Fermented Been curd
Fermented Been curd | Source


  • 1 bundle or 1 lb Water Spinach
  • 3 - 4 cubes Fermented Bean Curd (or spicy bean curd if you like spicy food.), If the bundle of water spinach you have is more than 1 lb, use 4 cubes of wet bean curd.
  • 4 slices Ginger
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2-3 tbs Olive oil
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Ong Choy - Water Spinach with Shrimps and Steam RiceOng Choy - Cooked Water Spinach with Wet Bean CurdRaw Ong Choy - Water Spinach
Ong Choy - Water Spinach with Shrimps and Steam Rice
Ong Choy - Water Spinach with Shrimps and Steam Rice | Source
Ong Choy - Cooked Water Spinach with Wet Bean Curd
Ong Choy - Cooked Water Spinach with Wet Bean Curd | Source
Raw Ong Choy - Water Spinach
Raw Ong Choy - Water Spinach | Source


  1. Cut off the end of the stems that are too mature (1-2 inches). Cut each strand of water spinach into 1-2 inches. Discard any wilted and black leaves. Wash the water spinach thoroughly. Drain it well in a colander.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil.
  3. Keep the heat on high, add in garlic and ginger.
  4. When the garlic turns golden brown, add in the wet bean curb and stir for about 10 seconds.
  5. Add in the water spinach. Keep tossing it until it is cooked, about 5 minutes. Never cover the skillet or wok with a lid while cooking water spinach, or it will turn yellow instead of green.
  6. When water spinach is cooked, it reduces to at least half of its raw size. Serve water spinach with any meats you prefer. It also go with steamed rice very well.


Water spinach is categorized as a cold food in Chinese. People should avoid consuming water spinach if they have weak spleen and stomach, low blood pressure. People have frequent tiredness and dizziness should also avoid consuming water spinach. In order to reduce its coldness, water spinach should be cooked with ginger which is a hot food in Chinese.


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    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      6 years ago from Planet Earth

      Oh, this looks so good! I'm not sure I've heard of water spinach - is it also related to watercress? My main source of food is vegetables, grain and dairy (although I'm not entirely strict, and I eat some fish, but very little poultry). I love finding new things I can try! Many votes up!

    • kittyjj profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Leung 

      6 years ago from San Jose, California

      I am glad you like it, Simone. Thank you for stopping by. :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for introducing me to a new ingredient, kittyjj! I'd love to give water spinach a try, and I'm so stoked that this is a vegetarian-friendly recipe!

    • kittyjj profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Leung 

      6 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thank you Nettlemere. Water spinach is worth to eat once in awhile.

    • Nettlemere profile image


      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      You certainly put forward some convincing arguments for the benefits of water spinach as a healthy food. And it's helpful to have the picture showing good spinach and one which is too mature for eating.

    • kittyjj profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Leung 

      6 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thank you DailyHealth for reading and commenting. I am glad to know it helped.

    • kittyjj profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Leung 

      6 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thank you Turtlewoman for your compliment.

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 

      6 years ago from California

      This is one of my favorite Chinese vegetable the bean curd too. I love your video! Great job.


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