There are a lot of things to remember from my visit to Vietnam several years ago; I have a bundle of really special memory imprints to go back to, including culinary ones…
Among other things, I was introduced to local specialties such as drip-coffee and stir-fried morning glory, aka water spinach. I loved this light green delight which reminded me a lot of the Greek way of eating greens.
Last week I bought a small batch of water-cress at the market. To my knowledge, I had never eaten or cooked with it before. So I decided to toss it in the pan with some sesame oil, finely chopped garlic and chili.
I also added some thinly sliced squash for additional substance.
The original recipe calls for fish-sauce which I replaced with tamari soy sauce. This simple stir-fry makes a great little side-dish/lukewarm salad, or even a main course if combined with some tofu or an egg for instance, depending on your dietary preferences.
Water cress is certainly not the only kind of green you can cook this way. Just think green leaves: spinach, chards, beetroot, pak choi, etc. While you are at it, you can add some spring onion cut lengthwise in fine wedges for some extra taste.
- 250-300 g watercress, or any other leafy green (spinach, chards, beetroot, pak choi, etc.)
- A couple of spring onions finely cut lengthwise, in wedges (optional)
- 1 big garlic clove
- some grated fresh ginger (optional)
- a small squash cut in thin slices
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/3 green chili, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- some water
- Wash the greens
- Heat up the oil in the pan
- Add the finely chopped garlic and chili and optionally some grated ginger
- Bake for a minute or so, stirring continuously, making sure the garlic does not burn!
- Add the washed greens, squash, spring onions
- Stir fry for some minutes on medium heat, until the greens start softening
- Add some tablespoons of water and a tablespoon of soy
- Cut off the heat and continue stirring
- Serve in a bowl with some drops of lime