Garlicky Water Spinach

A bold, garlic-flavored preparation for water spinach or other Asian greens.


  • 2 pounds fresh water spinach (or other greens)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (optional)


Trim and wash the water spinach.  Shake off the excess water.  Heat the wok or stockpot set over medium-high heat.  When it is hot, add the oil and rotate the wok or pot a bit to coat it evenly.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant and light golden, about 1 minute.  Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the fish sauce if using, stir, then cover and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Serve immediately.


From Bangkok to Bali in 30 Minutes, Theresa Volpe Laursen and Byron Laursen, 2003