Stir-fried greens with garlic & chilli

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

Fire Islands

By Eleanor Ford

Published 2019

  • About

Use any dark green leafy vegetables in this stir-fry. In Indonesia I might use water spinach, fronds of fiddlehead ferns, purple-veined kale or bitter young papaya leaves with their tiny white flowers. In my London kitchen I choose bok choy, pak choy, kai lan, tatsoi or chard.


  • 300 g (10½ oz) Asian greens
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 small red Asian shallots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded and sliced
  • ½ tablespoon kecap manis
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce


Trim the bases from the vegetables and wash in cold water. Shake dry. Depending on the size, cut the greens into thick strips or leave whole. Slice any thicker stems.

Heat a wok over a medium-high heat. Add the oil and when shimmering hot, add the shallot, garlic and chilli. Stir-fry vigorously to soften and just slightly colour.

Add the greens, shortly followed by the kecap manis and soy sauce. Stir-fry briskly until the leaves have wilted, but still have texture and any stems are still crisp. The sauces should have provided enough salt, but taste for seasoning. Serve at once.