Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu is a very healthy dish that is commonly served in many Chinese households. It’s simple to make and uses only a few ingredients to make a dish that is extremely flavorful and tasty. And in this recipe post, you’ll learn how to make this in the most authentic way possible.
Growing up, I was never really a fan of vegetables.
To me, vegetables were something like the devil and had to be avoided at all cost. I can’t remember exactly why that reason was, but I always tried my best to stay away from them.
Except for one vegetable, which is water spinach.
For some odd reason, something about water spinach attracted me to it in many ways. It just tasted so much different compared to other vegetables and I actually quite liked it.
And the dish that I loved most which utilized this vegetable was a dish called Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu Recipe / 腐乳空心菜. The leaves of the water spinach once cooked were insanely tender and had a hint of sweetness to it. Not to mention the unique flavor of the fermented tofu made the dish so magical.
It was a dish that I started to eat more and more off. Eventually I made it into a regular occurrence where I would have it every few days.
And I hope that you all would enjoy it as well.
Which leads me to this post.
In this post, I will be showing you how to make my version of the popular Chinese Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu Dish.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
What Is Water Spinach?
Water Spinach which is also called kōng xīn cài (空心菜) in Chinese, literally means “Empty Hearted Spinach”. The reason it is called this name is most likely because of its round and hollow stems. Along with the stems, it also has long and thin pointed leaves. This makes it different when compared to the regular spinach you would find in Western markets.
It is a very popular vegetable that is used in a variety of different Chinese cuisines.
Once cooked, the leaves of the spinach will become extremely tender like spinach and the stems will have a bit of a crunch to them as well.
Taste wise, the water spinach vegetable has a pretty savory, mild and slightly sweet taste which is simply amazing. It pairs perfectly well with a variety of ingredients which makes this vegetable one of the most versatile vegetables out there.
How To Prep Water Spinach
Before you can cook your water spinach, you will have to prep it for awhile.
Prepping the water spinach is actually a pretty simple thing to do. Essentially you’ll want to cut off the tough part of the stems. It’s definitely a lot easier said than done, as you’ll have to pick at the stems one by one and can definitely take around 20 to 30 minutes to finish.
My method for prepping the water spinach is to usually lay the entire bunch down on a cutting board and then cut off around 4 to 5 inches from the bottom part of the stem. This way you are almost guaranteed to have the tough part of the stem removed.
Once you have removed the tough part of the stems, you’ll have to wash your entire batch of water spinach. The reason for this is because unlike Western markets who clean the vegetables before packaging, Asian markets don’t really wash their vegetables prior to selling them. So often times the vegetables will have some dirt or dust on them.
Simply wash it thoroughly and then dry them off.
Then they’ll be ready to cook.
Ingredients To Make Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu
The ingredients you’ll need to make this Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu Recipe / 腐乳空心菜 dish are all really simple to find.
You will need the following ingredients:
- Water Spinach – 1 Bunch (Around 1 Pound should work)
And for the seasoning you’ll need:
- Vegetable Oil – 2 Tablespoon
- Chili Peppers – 2 Chili Peppers Any Kind
- Fermented Tofu – 2 Blocks of the White Fermented Tofu. Red Version can work as well.
- Sugar – 1/2 Teaspoon
- Garlic – 3 Cloves
- Shaoxing Wine – 2 Tablespoon
- Salt – 1/4 Teaspoon
- Ginger – 2 Thin Slices
And that’s basically it!
How To Make Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu
To make this stir fry water spinach with fermented tofu dish, you’ll need to do the following:
Prep The Water Spinach
On a cutting board, place your entire bunch of water spinach together in a group laying flat against the board.
Then use a knife and cut about 4 to 5 inches from the bottom of the stem to remove the tough portion of the stem.
After that, rinse your water spinach thoroughly through some water for a few minutes until everything is nice and clean.
Pat dry your water spinach and get ready, now it is ready to be used for cooking.
Cooking This Dish
In a large wok or pan, heat up some oil inside over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot enough, you’ll want to add in your sliced ginger into the oil and let it cook for a few seconds.
Once the ginger has cooked for a bit, you’ll want to toss in your garlic cloves, fermented tofu and chili peppers. Continue to cook for a minute or so until things start to get fragrant.
Note: Make sure to break the fermented tofu into smaller pieces during this process.
Toss in your entire bunch of water spinach. Don’t worry if it looks like a lot, it will eventually shrink down and become a smaller portion.
While your spinach is cooking, add in your sugar, salt and shaoxing wine. Continue to stir things around for a minute or so.
Once everything is properly mixed together and your water spinach has become tender to the touch, it is ready to serve.
Turn off the heat, and plate your stir fry water spinach with fermented tofu.
How To Store This Dish For Future Use
If you want to store this Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu Recipe / 腐乳空心菜 dish for future eating, then it will be a simple thing to do.
Basically all you’ll have to do is simply wrap the dish up with some plastic wrap or put it in an air-tight container. Then place it in the fridge where it should remain good for up to 3 days.
As for re-heating, to make it just like new, all you’ll have to do is to add some oil to the wok or pan over medium-high heat and add the contents back into the wok or pan. Stir it around for a minute or two till its hot and then serve.
Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu Recipe (腐乳空心菜)
- 1 Pound Water Spinach
- 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 Chili Pepper
- 2 Blocks Fermented Tofu
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoon Shaoxing Wine
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Slices Ginger
Prepping The Water Spinach
- On a cutting board, cut off about 4 inches from the bottom of the step. This is to ensure that you get rid of any tough portions of the stem.
- Thoroughly wash your water spinach in some water until it is nice and clean. You want to remove any dust and dirt that may be on the spinach.
- Pat Dry.
Cooking The Water Spinach
- Grab a wok and pour some oil into it over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot enough, you'll want to add in your sliced ginger pieces. Cook the ginger around for a few seconds.Then add in your garlic cloves, fermented tofu and chili peppers. Continue to stir things around and cook it for a minute or so. Make sure to break up the fermented tofu into smaller pieces.
- Add in your entire bunch of water spinach. Using a spatula, constantly stir and flip around the water spinach so that all sides will be able to be cooked evenly.
- During this process, you'll want to add in your sugar, salt and shaoxing wine.
- Continue to stir until everything is completely mixed together and fragrant. Once the water spinach has become extremely tender, it is time to turn off the heat.
- Grab a plate and pour the contents onto the plate.Serve immediately.
Did you try making my Stir Fry Water Spinach With Fermented Tofu Recipe / 腐乳空心菜? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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