Stir Fried Water spinach with Chili and Fermented Bean Paste

In my version, I used Japanese red miso or Akamiso and Chinese fermented tofu. Together, they really bring this simple stir fried vegetable to another level. 

In Thailand, water spinach is known as morning glory. It is generally prepared with chili, fermented soybean paste, soy or fish sauce, and shrimp paste. In Hong Kong, we use very similar ingredients, but because of the unique taste of Chinese-style fermented tofu, the result is quite different. 
 
In my version, water spinach brings out the umami flavour from the two kinds of fermented soybean products I use: Japanese red miso or Akamiso (赤味噌) and Chinese fermented tofu (腐乳). Together, they really bring this simple stir fried vegetable to another level. 
 
If you prefer less heat, you may deseed the chili or use a long red chili instead of a bird’s eye chili.

Ingredients

  • 300 g water spinach, washed, with stems and leaves cut into to size of a thumb
  • 1.5 cube fermented tofu
  • 1.5 tbsp red miso paste 
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • Half or whole bird’s eye chili, sliced
  • 2 small cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Vegetable or nut oil for frying

Serves 2 alongside 1-2 other dishes

Recipe Preparation

Mix sugar into fermented tofu and mash into a paste. 
 
Heat a wok on high heat, until almost smoking. Add about 1.5 tbsp oil and whirl wok around to coat.
 
Add fermented tofu mixture, dark miso, garlic, and chili slices and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add a good splash of Shaoxing wine and stir to combine. Let bubble for 1-2 minutes, then add water spinach, soy sauce, and salt. Stir until spinach is evenly coated with liquid. Taste and adjust with more salt or sugar. Serve immediately.

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