Stir-fried Water Spinach

Not found in your typical local grocer, but if you ever come across this in the Asian grocery market, BUY IT! More commonly labelled as On Choy, its one of the best leafy greens out there! It pack so much of its own flavor that not much is needed to accentuate it. Just add a little bit of garlic and some chili oil and you are good to go!

A very important aspect of this dish is the garlic, so make sure you use lots of it and brown it pretty well. Also The pinch of sugar is essential in any leafy green dish when it comes to Chinese stir-frying as it helps to relieve any bitter flavors and bring out the more natural taste of the vegetable itself.

If you want to look for this vegetable, some people better know it as kong xing cai,  which is the Chinese name for it. If you look at the bottom of its stem, you’ll see that its actually hollow which is another very noticeable and identifiable characteristic of this vegetable.


Stir fried Water Spinach

Cut off the majority of the stems and save them! Chop them up and salt them with about a teaspoon or so of salt for about a day. Then rinse them off and stirfry them again the same way or with some fermented tofu or chili oil. It tastes really good and also helps to avoid any waste.


  • 1 package water spinach or on choy, washed and chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Chili oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce(optional)
  • salt
  • olive oil


  1. Heat a pan until it is really hot then add in the oil (make sure you use a good amount)wait a few seconds then add in the garlic, making sure to completely brown (NOT BURN) it.
  2. add in the leafy greens and along with the soy sauce (if using) as well as a splash of water. then let sit covered until the vegetables are coked through and wilted about 3-4 minutes.
  3. then add in the sugar stirring as you go, and then add salt to taste.
  4. turn off the heat and add in the chili oil, if you want a little spicy kick to it, and stir it in

if you are going to use the chili oil, add less salt as this also contains some salt.


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