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Stir-fried Chinese Spinach

Stir-fried Spinach with Ikan Bilis

If you already have crispy fried ikan bilis, skip step two and use 1 tbsp cooking oil instead of 3 tbsp. Top the dish with the crispy ikan bilis before serving.

If you are skipping the ikan bilis totally, use 1 tbsp cooking oil instead of 3 tbsp, and add 1/2 tsp light soy sauce to Seasonings (A).


  • 200g Chinese (round/sharp) spinach
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 small handful of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) rinsed and pat dry
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 slices ginger sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

Seasonings (A)

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Separate spinach leaves and stems. Snap the stem into 5 cm length, pulling and discarding the strings as you do so.
  2. Heat oil and add ikan bilis, cooking until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Drain ikan bilis from oil and set aside.
  3. Using the remaining oil in the wok, add garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant.
  4. Add spinach stems and carrot slices. Stir fry for about 2 minutes until just softened.
  5. Add spinach leaves and sauce (A). Stir fry until the leaves are wilted. Then cover with lid and let the contents simmer for 30 seconds.
  6. Drizzle Chinese wine on the sides of the wok, turn off the flame when you smell the aroma of the wine seconds later.
  7. Dish into serving plate and top with the previously fried ikan bilis.

Noob Cook Tip

To prevent oil splatters, dry the vegetables and ikan bilis thoroughly before adding to the hot oil.

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24 comments on “Stir-fried Chinese Spinach”

  1. I love dishes like this and kangkung is my one of my favorite veggies. A bit of kick from red pepper flakes or sliced chili padi will make me really happy :)

  2. Lovely, I love this kind of homey dish.

  3. I tried this last night – very nice. 很香很好吃. I havent post mine yet.

  4. GORGEOUS! Love the detail on your chopsticks too. :)

  5. I like home-cooked meals. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I cooked spinach with ikan bilis tonight. :) The ikan bills was a refreshing idea as I would always just stir fried spinach with garlic. My ikan bills were a little too salty, probably because I was a little too generous with them. :)

  6. Hi

    I kinda a fan of Chinese and simple cooking for every day meals. I’ve been trying some of your recipes and my family absolutely loves them. I saw this recipe and I immediately thought I want to try this, up till I saw the part on Chinese wine. I don’t consume alcohol( be it drinking or cooking) due to religious reason.

    My question is, is it ok to not use Chinese wine in this (and some) of the recipes? Will it change the taste drastically? I appreciate your reply so much. :)

    P.S. Love these recipes so much! :)

    • Hi Shariffa, thanks for your kind words. Glad you like Chinese food, currently I am learning how to make mee soto! hope I succeed. It is perfectly fine to omit the Chinese wine in the recipes. the wine plays a supporting, subtle role to enhance the flavour, but it will not destroy the taste at all. There are many ways to flavour Chinese stir-fries, such as ikan bilis powder, shallot oil, salt, garlic etc…

    • Thanks so much for the prompt reply Wiffy! At least there’s still hope for me to cook some of the simply amazing dish. :) I do have a recipe to my MIL’s Mee Soto and her super spicy sambal. I have yet to try cooking it though (quite tedious if you have 2 kids under 3!), I can guarantee that it’s really good coz I’ve eaten her soto countless times. I can share with the recipe. Or maybe you have a simpler yet delicious soto recipes, please do share! :)

      P.S Soto goes well with potato cutlet! :)

    • Yes, yes, I want your MIL’s recipe if it’s not too much trouble – I always believe home recipes is the best. can you email me via the contact page? But no hurry, I can wait, so take your time. I love mee soto and always crave for it :)

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