Seasoned Water Spinach Side Dish (Asian-style)

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This seasoned water spinach side dish features one of Asian most popular leafy green vegetables prepared in Korean-style. Simply blanch and season it to make this quick, easy and tasty side dish.

a plate of seasoned Ong Choy side dish

My favorite Korean restaurant in Saigon has this water spinach side dish in their banchan rotation. The simple preparation method preserves the mild taste and crisp texture of the vegetable.

Related: you may also want to try this Chinese-style lettuce with garlic sauce or broccoli and abalone in oyster sauce which also uses the blanching method to cook vegetables.

This recipe requires just a handful of ingredients:

  • vegetable: water spinach.
  • seasonings: garlic, toasted sesame oil, salt, and some red chili pepper.
plates with ingredients for the recipe

Water spinach has some other names such as ong choy and morning glory. We call it rau muống in Vietnamese. Its flavor is a bit like a hybrid of spinach and watercress. You may need to visit an Asian grocery store to buy water spinach and toasted sesame oil.

Cooking Steps

1️⃣ Making this Korean-style seasoned ong choy side dish is very simple. First, spend some time to snip off the large and tough bottom parts of the stems, either by pinching with your finger or cutting with a knife. We want to use the leafy parts and tender parts of the stems.

Snipping water spinach stem

2️⃣ Next, blanch ong choy in plenty of boiling water for about 3 minutes or until it is cooked through and still crisp. There are different varieties of ong choy, and some will look vibrant green once cooked. Some will turn dark green with a yellowish or reddish hue.

blanching water spinach in a large pot

3️⃣ Quickly remove the vegetables from the water and shock in a bowl of iced cold water to stop the cooking. Then let it drain and gently squeeze out excess water.

transferring blanched water spinach to iced cold water
squeezing out excess water from the vegetable

4️⃣ The last step is tossing the water spinach with minced garlic, salt, toasted sesame oil and several slices of red chili pepper. I like to put it in the refrigerator for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

tossing the veggies with seasonings

I hope you will enjoy this easy and simple Asian seasoned morning glory side dish. The dish can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

a plate of seasoned water spinach

Korean-style Seasoned Water Spinach Side Dish

This seasoned water spinach side dish features one of Vietnamese most popular leafy green vegetables prepared in Korean-style. It is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Author: Sophie
No ratings yet
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients
 

  • 10.5 oz water spinach (300g)
  • salt, to taste (start with ¼ teaspoon)
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • several slices of red chili pepper (depending on how spicy you like it)

Instructions
 

  • Snip off the large and tough bottom parts of the stems, either by pinching with your finger or cutting with a knife. We want to use the leafy parts and tender parts of the stems. You may be left with about 7-8 oz of vegetables. Wash thoroughly until there is no dirt in the water.
  • Blanch the water spinach in plenty of boiling water for about 3 minutes or until it is cooked through and still crisp.
  • Quickly remove the vegetables from the water and shock in a bowl of iced cold water to stop the cooking. Then let it drain and gently squeeze out excess water.
  • Toss the vegetables with salt, garlic, sesame oil and chili pepper. Give the dish 10-15 minutes to let the water spinach absorb the seasoning flavors before serving.

Notes

You can snip the water spinach into shorter pieces (about 3 inches or so) in Step 1, or cut into short pieces in Step 3 after squeezing out excess water.
The dish can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Nutrition

Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 459mg | Potassium: 470mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9377IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian Fusion, korean
Keyword: seasoned morning glory, seasoned ong choy
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