Stir-Fried Water Spinach With Shrimp Paste (虾酱炒空心菜)

This is one of my favourite dishes I enjoyed eating throughout my adulthood. My family usually cooks water spinach with either shrimp paste or fermented bean curd. Since I didn’t have any fermented bean curd in my pantry at the time, I opted to use shrimp paste/fine shrimp sauce.

This is a super easy dish to whip up taking you no more than 15 minutes and perfect to enjoy along side a bowl of rice. The thai chili I used is optional, so you don’t have to use it if you don’t have any or if you don’t like it spicy.


1 large bunch of water spinach, ends trimmed and cut into 3 parts

1 tbsp shrimp paste/fine shrimp sauce

1 tbsp minced garlic

1-2 thai chili peppers, chopped (optional, but recommended)


Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the water spinach for about 30 seconds, then remove the water spinach and set aside. Next bring a wok to medium-high heat, and then add in about a tablespoon of olive oil, along with the minced garlic and chopped thai chili peppers. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds or until the garlic becomes fragrant (be careful not to burn the garlic). Now, add in the water spinach.

In a small bowl, add a tablespoon of shrimp paste/fine shrimp sauce and about 2 tablespoons of water and mix well. If you want a thicker sauce, you can add a bit of cornstarch to the mixture. Add in the shrimp paste/water mixture to the wok and toss everything together well for about 1-2 minutes.

Remove the water spinach from the wok and serve on plate, and enjoy!


3 thoughts on “Stir-Fried Water Spinach With Shrimp Paste (虾酱炒空心菜)

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