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Malabar Spinach Stir Fry Recipe

Malabar Spinach Stir Fry Recipe

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Malabar Spinach is a very interesting vegetable – it makes me think of okra, but as a leafy vegetable. If you’ve ever had it before you know what I mean! If you haven’t, you should try it some time – this Malabar Spinach Stir Fry recipe is how I usually prepare it.

What is malabar spinach?

Malabar spinach’s official name is Basella alba and is native to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and New Guinea. It can now also be found in other countries such as China, Africa, Brazil, Philippines, Columbia and more.

In mandarin Chinese, it is also known as “royal palace vegetable” (huang gong cai 皇宮菜) because legend has it a long time ago Thai king designated it as a “royal dish”. It’s also known as mu’er cai 木耳菜, vine spinach, ceylon spinach, indian spinach.

While it has the word ‘spinach’ in its name, Malabar spinach is not really a spinach but a distant cousin of spinach.

This vegetable is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and manganese. It also contains B vitamins – which makes it a pretty healthy and nutritious veggie to eat!

The most unique pat about this vegetable is that it has a slippery texture when cooked, similar to okra!

Malabar Spinach

Where can I buy malabar spinach?

You can usually find malabar spinach in your local Asian supermarket or Indian supermarket. If you can’t find it any where local, some people like to grow malabar spinach in their own gardens, and you can actually find malabar seeds on Amazon.

How to eat malabar spinach?

You can eat malabar spinach raw or cooked! If you are eating it raw, it has thick leaves that are very juicy and crispy.

If you are cooking it, you will find that it has similar ‘slimey’ feel similar to okra. There are several ways to cook this vegetable.

For example, in Sri Lanka, malabar spinach is often used to make curry. In the Phillippines, it is often made in a vegetable soup called Sinabawang gulay or Utan. The leaves are deep fried in Gujarat.

In Chinese cuisine, it is often used in soups and stir fries. I will show you how to stir fry malabar spinach in this recipe.

How to cook malabar spinach

I find the easiest way to make malabar spinach is to stir fry it with ginger. Not only easy but the ginger adds an extra layer of flavor for the dish.

First you will need to gather your ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of malabar spinach (~6 oz)
  • 1 inch of ginger, sliced
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil of choice
  • Salt, as desired

Wash and clean malabar spinach, and then cut the larger leaves to smaller pieces, and remove hard stems (you can keep the tender stems).

Heat a wok or cooking pan, and add cooking oil on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add slices of ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds.

Add Malabar spinach in to wok/pan, and stir fry for about 5-7 minutes, or until bright green and tender.

Add salt as desired, and then remove from heat.

Malabar Spinach Stir Fry Recipe

Malabar Spinach Stir Fry Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Malabar Spinach is a very interesting vegetable – it makes me think of okra, but as a leafy vegetable. If you’ve ever had it before you know what I mean! If you haven’t, you should try it some time – this Malabar Spinach Stir Fry recipe is how I usually prepare it.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of malabar spinach (~6 oz)
  • 1 inch of ginger, sliced
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil of choice
  • Salt, as desired

Instructions

  1. Wash and clean malabar spinach, and then cut the larger leaves to smaller pieces, and remove hard stems (you can keep the tender stems).
  2. Heat a wok or cooking pan, and add cooking oil on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add slices of ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add malabar spinach in to wok/pan, and stir fry for about 5-7 minutes, or until bright green and tender.
  4. Add salt as desired, and then remove from heat.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 42Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

The nutrition information for this recipe is an approximate total per serving. Please double check the nutrition information for your exact ingredients and brands for more precise nutrition information.

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Donny

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

I've never heard of this but it sounds so good! I like okra and spinach so I bet I'd love this. Do you think it would also work well with garlic?

TinaTsai

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Hi there! Yes you can also stir fry with garlic - I believe everything with garlic is DELICIOUS imo! LOL

Jean Choi

Tuesday 5th of October 2021

So simple but full of flavor. Reminds me of Chinese takeout, but better.

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