If you've been wondering how to cook Ong Choy, try this easy Chinese water spinach stir fry. A delicious side dish that can be ready in less than 15 minutes. It's so healthy and flavorful.
What is Chinese Water Spinach
Chinese water spinach is one of the most popular vegetables in Chinese and Southeast Asia cuisine. It's also known as ong choy in Cantonese, rau muong in Vietnam kangkong in the Philippines, kangkung in Indonesia and Malaysia, trakuon in Cambodia, and pak bong in Laos.
Chinese water spinach has long and pointed leaves. The stems are edible, they have a crisp that makes them the perfect vegetable for stir fry or soup.
Chinese water spinach is quick to cook and doesn't require a ton of seasoning to make them tasty. They are packed with nutrients that will benefit your body, including skin and brain.
Where to Purchase Water Spinach
You can find Chinese water spinach at almost any Asian grocery store such as 99 Ranch Market, HMart, Seafood City, etc for around $2.99 per pound.
The Ingredients for Ong Choy Stir Fry
The Chinese water spinach is seasoned with garlic, shallots, oyster sauce, and red chili pepper. The fresh chili adds color and a spicy taste to the dish, but you can omit it if you are not a big fan of heat.
If you are going to serve this to kids, make sure that you cut the leaves and stems into small pieces before serving to avoid choking. I've been consuming Chinese water spinach since I was a kid and those long leaves can be a lot for a child.
How to Clean Water Spinach
- Trim and discard the bottom 2-3 inches of the woody ends then cut the remaining stems into 2-3 inch lengths.
- Cut the leafy top portions into 2-3 inch lengths and discard the leaves that are wilted.
- Soak the water spinach in a large bowl of cold water to remove dirt. Change the water a few times until the spinach is fully cleaned. Drain well.
Here's How to Stir Fry Water Spinach
Step 1. Cook the Aromatic Vegetables
- In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over high heat.
- Cook shallots for 10 seconds then add chilies and cook for about 5 seconds.
- Add garlic and cook just until fragrant.
Step 2. Stir in the Chinese Water Spinach and Oyster Sauce
- Stir in the oyster sauce then add the Chinese water spinach into the wok. Stir fry for about 20-30 seconds until it begins to wilt. Do not overcook.
- Serve immediately to prevent your water spinach from oxidizing.
FAQ and Cooking Tips
Do not remove the water spinach from the packaging. You can store it in the fridge in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
I do not recommend it. Spinach contains a high amount of iron. Every time you reheat spinach, it oxidizes the iron present in spinach, which releases dangerous free radicals that can cause health issues.
Check Out More Tasty Asian Recipes
- Best Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry
- Soba Noodle Salad
- Asian Chopped Salad
- Bean Sprout Stir Fry
- Green Bean with Shrimp Stir Fry
- Taiwanese Beef Soup
- Instant Pot Massaman Curry with Beef
- Laksa Soup
- Soto Ayam
- Char Kway Teow
- Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Bowls
- Chili Garlic Noodles
Chinese Water Spinach Stir Fry
- 300 grams Chinese water spinach (Ong Choy)
- 3 garlic cloves, (sliced)
- ¼ cup sliced shallots
- 1½ tablespoon neutral oil , (canola, vegetable, or peanut oil)
- ¾ tablespoon oyster sauce, (add more according to your liking)
- 1 red jalapeño or serrano pepper, (seeded and chopped)
- Trim and discard the bottom 2-3 inches of the woody ends then cut the remaining stems into 2-3 inch lengths. Cut the leafy top portions into 2-3 inch lengths and discard the leaves that are wilted.Soak the water spinach in a large bowl of cold water to remove dirt. Change the water a few times until the spinach are fully cleaned. Drain well.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over high heat. Cook shallots for 10 seconds then add chilies and cook for about 5 seconds. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant.
- Stir in the oyster sauce then add the Chinese water spinach into the wok. Stir fry for about 20-30 seconds until the leaves begin to wilt. Do not overcook.