Cooking with Mom: Stir Fry Water Spinach 蒜頭炒空心菜/通菜

This is my favourite vegetable of all time. I like the crunchiness of the stems combined with the tenderness of the leaves.

In Taiwan, we call water spinach 空心菜 (pinyin: kōngxīncài). It is very popular in Taiwan because it grows well there (it likes hot and humid weather). It’s harvested in the summer, that’s why you see a lot of it in Chinese supermarkets in Canada in the summer. Since summers are getting hot here, maybe I can try growing it when I have my own garden.

空 kōng means empty
心 xīn means heart
菜 cài means vegetable

Because of its hollow stem, it’s named 空心菜 (kōngxīncài).

It’s very easy to cook and so delicious!

2 cloves of garlic (more if you like the garlic taste), sliced or minced
1 bunch of water spinach, cut into 2-inch lengths (I normally use my hands to break them up)
Salt, to taste
Mushroom seasoning, about half of a teaspoon
Canola oil


  1. Heat oil over high heat. Stir fry garlic for 30-40 seconds to bring out the flavour.
  2. Add in water spinach and salt. The key to cooking water spinach is over high heat and not for too long. Stir fry the water spinach for a couple of minutes until the stems are cooked.
  3. Remove from heat and add the mushroom seasoning. Mix well.

* You can add some chilli pepper to give it more spice
* You can cook satay beef or shacha beef and place it on top of a bed of water spinach

I love this vegetable and could eat a whole plate of it on my own.

What is your all time favourite vegetable?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s