Stir Fried Chinese Spinach in Fermented Beancurd Sauce

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Those who live in South East Asia will be relatively used to this version of a stir fry.  It’s not your usual Cantonese version of oyster sauce or plain garlic.  I suppose that it’s more Teochew or Hokkein.  Also, its fermented beancurd. Not fermented soybeans.  The taste is more like miso but 10x more pungent but it mellows out when cooked.  It normally comes in a small bottle and is fermented with chilli.

100g Chinese spinach (leaves and stem separated)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chilli, sliced (I used bird’s eye chilli here for a bit more kick)
1.5 fermented beancurd cubes
1 tsp sugar
3 tbp water


  1. Smash up the fermented beancurd until it forms a paste. Add water if necessary.
  2. Heat vegetable or olive oil up in a wok until smoking hot.
  3. Fry garlic until golden
  4. Add in chilli slices
  5. Add in the stems and stir fry for about half a minute
  6. Add in fermented beancurd paste and stir fry some more
  7. Add in the leaves and stir fry until wilted
  8. Add in the water and fry until all the leaves have wilted and there is ample gravy
  9. Add in sugar and taste

As with all fermented and preserved items, the levels of salt and vinegar vary with each brand so do taste the sauce/gravy before serving.

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