Ingredient: Water Spinach
I believe it is also called Morning Glory in Thai cuisine. That taste is quite mild and does resemble spinach. I've been in a little cooking ruts lately and haven't really been inspired. Instead of going out and try some new ingredients, I decided to go back and visit some things that I grew up with but somehow never made a regular appearance in my own kitchen. Water spinach is one of those. I still have them when I visit my parents, so it's not like I haven't had it in years or anything. It is, however, the first time I cooked it. I even went the traditional way my Dad cooks it, with Chinese fermented bean curd. That's another thing I don't keep in my pantry. For those who haven't had fermented bean curd before, it's a pretty strong ingredient by itself. When cook with other things, it mellows out, similar to how fish sauce works in a dish.
Water Spinach in Bean Curd Sauce
2 lb water spinach, trim off the tough ends and cut into about 3" length
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
3 tbs fermented bean curd, mashed
2 tbs rice wine
sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)
Wash the water spinach really well, at least in 2 changes of water. Drain in colander. Mix the mashed bean curd and wine together. Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium-high, add the oil and garlic (also the red pepper flakes if using); heat until the garlic start to get light brown. Add the water spinach, be careful, it will splatter. Finally, add the bean curd mixture and cover to cook over medium heat until the water spinach is tender.