Vietnamese Water Spinach Sauteed with Garlic

Rau Mủỏ́ng Xào Tỏi

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine And Culture In Southern California's Little Saigon

Little Saigon Cookbook

By Ann Le

Published 2011

  • About

Vietnamese water spinach is prized for its salty but slight bitter flavor. It melds well with garlic and fish sauce. If you can’t find it in your market, ask if it can be specially ordered. You can substitute spinach or mustard greens; however, this recipe is about the opportunity to sample this exotic green. Add tofu or additional veggies to the recipe if you wish.


  • 6 cups fresh water spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¼ cup Oil
  • teaspoons sugar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 5 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 scallion, chopped into rings


    1. Rinse the water spinach and pat it dry. Remove and discard the stems.
    2. In a small bowl, stir together the fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and the sugar. Set aside.
    3. In a medium skillet, warm the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and garlic and sauté for a few minutes.
    4. Add the water spinach leaves to the skillet all at once. Toss the greens while they cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. The leaves will shrink as they are cooking.
    5. Next, add the fish sauce mixture to the skillet, pouring it all over the water spinach. Continue tossing for about 3 to 5 minutes so that the spinach is evenly covered with the marinade and the leaves have cooked through or are completely limp. Stir in the sesame seeds and toss to evenly disperse them.
    6. Serve hot, garnished with the chopped scallion.