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Sambal Sweet Potato Leaf

This sambal sweet potato leaf (参巴番薯叶) is our local zichar style of stir-frying greens in the wok. The sambal sauce (a spicy paste made with chillis, belacan and aromatics) gives this dish a hot and savoury punch. The home-cooked version is so much cheaper than ordering the dish outside so this is a dish that is worth my effort :) This recipe works well with kang kong (water spinach) too.

Sambal Sweet Potato Leaf Recipe

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Sambal Sweet Potato Leaf Recipe
Usually for sweet potato leaf stems, one will pull & discard the strings (pictured above) before snapping them to short pieces to improve the texture. However, I usually skip this as it is time-consuming, and I also dislike the mild milky sap when the stems are snapped.

Sambal Sweet Potato Leaf Recipe
So most of the time, I just snipped the stems using scissors, and my family says the taste is still good.

Instant Sambal Belacan Paste
I’m using this bottle of instant sambal belacan paste. It saves me a lot of time, not having to make the sambal paste from scratch, which involves toasting the belacan (shrimp paste) and stinks up the kitchen. So this recipe is easy & fast enough for everyday cooking! If you have more time, you can use homemade sambal belacan to replace the instant sauce.

First posted on Nov 2009, updated on Jul 2019.

46 comments on “Sambal Sweet Potato Leaf”

  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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