Water Spinach with a Hot & Sour Dressing

Traditional Indonesian prepartion for water spinach.


  • 4 cups trimmed and cleaned water spinach
  • 2-6 dried small red chilies
  • 1 heaped teaspoon shrimp paste, crumbled
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Juice of 1 lime


Soak dried chilies first in hot water for 10 minutes until they become soft.  Put the chilies, shrimp paste, and garlic in a mortar and crush them with a pestle until smooth.  Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the paste from the mortar for 2 minutes.  Add the water spinach, and continue stir-frying fro 5-8 minutes until the spinach is tender.  Add the lime juice and adjust the seasoning.  Serve straight away as an accompaniment to a main dish.


Indonesian Regional Cooking, Sri Owen, 1995