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Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Garlic

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Active time 5 mins
Total time 15 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Look for water spinach (called rau muong or ong choy) in Asian markets. Regular spinach is a fine substitute, though it won't have the same silkiness.


  • 1 pound fresh water spinach, wide parts of stems trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, divided
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Nutrition Information

  • calories 76
  • fat 5.1 g
  • satfat 0.4 g
  • monofat 3 g
  • polyfat 1.5 g
  • protein 4 g
  • carbohydrate 6 g
  • fiber 3 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 267 mg
  • calcium 117 mg
  • sugars 1 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 1 g

How to Make It

  1. Cut spinach into 3- to 4-inch pieces. Rinse and drain well. Bring a large Dutch oven filled with water to a boil over high heat. Add spinach; cook 30 seconds or until wilted. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain well.

  2. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Stir in 1 tea­spoon garlic. Combine 2 teaspoons water and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk.

  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Add remaining 2 teaspoons garlic; cook 15 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Pour off excess water from spinach; add spinach to pan. Cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in oyster sauce mixture. When spinach begins to release juices, add cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until sauce thickens and spinach takes on a silky finish.

The Pho Cookbook. Ten Speed Press, $22, on sale Feb. 7, 2017.