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Stir-Fried Chinese Water Spinach (Ong Choy) With Fermented Bean Curd Recipe. How To Make Vegetarian Stir-Fried!

Updated on March 20, 2015

Water spinach, a leafy vegetable native to Asia, especially Southeast and East Asia, also knows as swamp cabbage, Chinese spinach/Ong Choy/Kong Xin Cai, water convolvulus , water morning glory or in other world languages as rau muong (Vietnam), kangkung (Malay and Indonesian), phak bung (Thai). This veggie is very cheap and abundant in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thai and neighboring countries. They appear in many dishes such as raw and cooked salad (gado-gado, rujak kangkung, kangkung sotong, urap,etc), stir-fry and Filipino adobo (adobong).

Known as food for the poor, water spinach is rich in vitamins and high in fibre. The best way to enjoy this semi-aquatica vegetable is stir-fry with Asian spices such as shrimp paste (belacan,terasi), fish sauce, chili sauce, or fermented soybean but my favorite is with fermented bean curd. The smooth cubes of preserved bean curd in brine give subtle flavor to vegetable especially water spinach. Unfortunately in USA, water spinach is listed under USDA "noxious weed" but do not worry, you still able to find them in Asian grocery or supermarket.

You just need few seasoning to enjoy stunning water spinach stir-fry: garlic and fermented bean curd. That's all. This dish is 100% vegetarian, easy to make, yet healty and tasty.

Red Fermented Bean Curd
Red Fermented Bean Curd

What You Need

Serves 2-4


12 oz water spinach

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp chopped garlic

3 cubes fermented bean curd

1/8 tsp sugar

1 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar

Fresh Ong Choy/Water Spinach
Fresh Ong Choy/Water Spinach | Source

How to Fix

  • Cut off about 2-inch tough and fibrous bottom of each water spinach stem and discard. Remove any dried and wilted leaves. Cut each stem into 3-inch pieces. Wash and rinse in several times under cold running water. Drain thoroughly in a salad spinner. Set aside.
  • In a small glass bowl, combine rice wine and wet bean curd. Smash the bean curd gently to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Heat a heavy wok or skillet over high heat. Then add vegetable oil to coat the wok sides. Stir in garlic and cook about 10 seconds or until it is fragrant and soft. Add water spinach and stir-fry until the veggie just about to wilt. It Will need not more than 1 minute. Last, add bean curd mixture, sugar and salt. Continue to cook until the spinach is wilted but not over cooked. They should be bright green, tender and crispy. Transfer to serving platter.


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    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 6 years ago from USA

      @Flickr: You are welcome

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 6 years ago from USA

      @flickr: you are welcome

    • profile image

      Flickr 6 years ago

      That sounds absolutely great!! Voted up. Thanks for sharing.