How to Make Vietnamese Water Spinach Stir Fried With Garlic – Rau Muong Xao Toi

Water spinach, Rau Muong, a long, hollow stem plant with leafy green is the most significant vegetable of the Vietnamese cuisine. The tender tops with pointy leaves are often boiled, stir fried or used in soup (canh). The hollow stems are sometimes split into slender pieces, dropped in water for them to curl and these crunch spiral are used as a garnish for several noodle and salad dishes. It is easily found in Vietnamese or Chinese markets. During the peak of summer season, they are very inexpensive.

Recipe for Vietnamese Water Spinach Stir Fried with Garlic – Rau Muong Xao Toi


1 green onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 bunch water spinach, 1 1/2 lbs to 2 lbs

2 1/2 tbsp cooking oil

3/4 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp fishsauce

1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water

1 pinch of pepper

Juice from 1/4 lime

Trim off the chewy bottom part of the water spinach and cut it into 3 inch sections. Wash well and drain in a colander.

In a large pot, fill the pot with half full of water and bring it to a boil. Add the water spinach, and move it around to ensure even cooking for about 1 minute or until it’s wilted. Drain it in a colander and flush with cold water.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, 1/2 of garlic, oil and stir it well. Set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. Stir in remaining garlic and green onion for about 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add the water spinach and mix it up to blend in garlic and green onion. Add in the sauce and toss it to distribute evenly. When the water spinach starts releasing its juice, add the corntarch mixture and toss well. Cook for another minute, squeeze it 1 quarter of a lime and garnish with some pepper. Toss well.

Transfer to plate and serve.

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