Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Chillies and Sichuan Pepper

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a side dish

Appears in

This is from Fuchsia Dunlop’s award-winning book Sichuan Cookery. Pepper adds three dimensions here – colour, crunch and tingling heat.


  • water spinach 300 g/10½ oz
  • Sichuan dried chillies a small handful
  • groundnut oil 3 tbsp
  • Sichuan pepper ½ tsp
  • salt ¼–½ tsp
  • sesame oil 1 tsp


Thoroughly wash the water spinach, discarding any wilted leaves and coarser stalks. Tear or cut into 10cm/4in sections. Snip the chillies in half or into 2cm/¾in sections, discarding the seeds as far as possible.

Heat the oil in a wok until hot but not smoking. Add the chillies and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry for 10–20 seconds until the oil smells spicy and the chillies are just beginning to turn a darker red – take care not to burn them.

Throw in all the spinach and stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until the leaves have wilted and the stems are tender and juicy, seasoning with salt to taste. Finally, remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.