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Stir-fried Sweet Potato Leaves in Chilli

Sweet Potato Leaves in Chilli

My friend, Rian, who is an Indonesian Chinese, taught me how to make this delicious and spicy vegetable stir fry. I think IndoChine cuisine is similar in some ways to the Chinese/Malay food in Singapore, because we have influences from various ethnic races so our food is also spicy. You can substitute sweet potato leaves with kangkong (kangkung) if you like. I cut the stems to smaller pieces because I think it’s easier to eat them cut, and this was inspired by the delicious stir fry vegetables I had at Bollywood Veggies. The result is a wonderful balance between salty and spicy. This goes really well with rice.

(Serves 2-3)

– 200g sweet potato leaves 番薯叶 (I use the “baby” type but you can use the regular type too)
– 1 large red chilli, sliced
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
– 1 tsp light soy sauce
– 2 tbsp vegetable/olive oil
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 shallots, sliced finely

(A) For pounding (See step 2)
– 1 tbsp salted soya beans (aka dou jiang, ‘tauco’, ‘tao cheow‘, 豆酱)
– 3 chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli), sliced
– 3 shallots, finely chopped
– 1/2 tsp brown sugar
– 1/2 tbsp shrimp paste (belacan)

1. Trim the stem ends of the sweet potato leaves, then cut to separate the sweet potato leaves and the stems. Slice the stems to about 2-3cm lengths and set aside.
2. Pound the ingredients in (A) using a mortar and pestle.
3. Heat oil in pan, fry the sliced shallots, sliced large chilli and minced garlic till fragrant.
4. Add the pounded ingredients prepared in step 2 and stir fry for a minute till fragrant (see cooking note 2).
5. Increase to high heat, add the stems and stir fry for a minute or two.
6. Add leaves, water and light soy sauce. Stir fry till the leaves have just wilted and cooked.

Sweet Potato Leaves in Chilli

Cooking Notes:
1. The large chilli is for colour while the smaller chilli padi is for spiciness.
2. When frying the chilli paste, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated because the fumes from cooking the paste can be stinging.
3. It is important to stir fry the vegetables in high heat so that they have a nice crunchy bite when cooked.

44 comments on “Stir-fried Sweet Potato Leaves in Chilli”

  1. I’ve never had a sweet potato leaf! This looks delicious! Reminds me of kale.

  2. Eeverything with terasi/belacan must be yummy. Love this simple dish, actually I just made for my supper by using yuey choy instead of yam leaves

  3. I used to pluck this from the veggie garden as a child, half for my rabbits and the other half sent to the kitchen to be stir fried the same way as I would with kangkong!

  4. at first I thought it was kang kong than I looked closely and realised it isnt! I think i tried sweet potato leaves once… in a restaurant in sg.
    This looks awesome and I love how green and refreshing it looks-without it being too oily!

    • yes my plate of veggies does resemble kang kong especially when I cut the stems to smaller pieces. I like the sweet potato leaves I had at Soup Restaurant, SG. Thanks for your kind words :)

  5. Never thought about using chilis with sweet potato leaves! I’ve only tried it with some garlic and salt. The baby type sounds awesome but I don’t think my supermarket has it unfortunately :(.

    • The normal type of sweet potato leaves is fine as well. I think the only difference is that the baby ones have slightly harder stems. Otherwise everything is the same ;)

  6. I love sweet potato leaves stir fried like this!

  7. Yum … this veggie is really delicious. We often cook it at home too. Eat it with hot rice and salty fish are great. Love your photography … excellent!!

  8. Is this similar to water spinach (tung choi)? If so, I love this stuff. If not, I’m going to have to keep my eye out for this!

  9. my favourite vegetables especially the spicy part!! hahaha!

  10. This looks sooo good and flavorful! The picture is awesome–as always. Thanks for sharing.

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