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Chinese Spinach in Superior Broth

Sharp Spinach

Sharp Spinach

Chinese Spinach in Superior Broth Recipe

In my opinion, making your own soup stock for this dish makes this dish truly "superior"; however, if you are pressed for time, use instant soup solutions (such as soup cubes). Vegetable & chicken stock can also be used in place of ikan bilis stock.

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins


  • 250g Chinese spinach
  • 50 grams ikan bilis rinsed
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled & sliced thinly
  • 1/2 century egg diced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp wolfberries soaked in a small bowl of water for 15 minutes until puffy; drained
  • light soy sauce to taste; optional


  1. Separate the spinach leaves from the stem. Break the stem to 2 cm lengths, pulling and discarding the "strings" as you do so. Rinse and spin dry the vegetables.
  2. Place ikan bilis in a disposable soup pouch and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 10-15 mins. Discard the soup pouch, set aside the stock.
  3. Heat oil, add garlic slices and stir fry until garlic just turn slightly brown. Add spinach stems and stir fry on high heat for about a minute. Add spinach leaves and stir fry until the leaves are just wilted.
  4. Add ikan bilis stock, century egg, sugar and wolfberries. Bring to a simmer for about a minute. Add Shaoxing wine and allow the wine to evaporate after a few seconds. Turn off the flame. Season the broth with light soy sauce if needed.

Noob Cook Tips:

  1. You may use any type of Chinese spinach for this recipe, most commonly sharp spinach (苋菜) or round spinach (菠菜).
  2. Century eggs will make the soup murky in appearance; skip this ingredient if you prefer to have clear soup.

Leave a Comment

76 Responses to “Chinese Spinach in Superior Broth”

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  1. HoppingHammy — April 18, 2010 @ 2:33 am

    So many new types of food to see! 8O I really need to get out more haha!


    • wiffy replied: — April 20th, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

      I don’t blame you for not seeing this before because it’s more common in South East Asia :) Actually I am really grateful that you are not put off by our local cuisine which may seem strange for a western palate, thanks for keeping an open mind and for your nice comments :)


  2. juhuacha — April 20, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    There is a wide variety of spinach in NTUC. I always use “yin choi” for this dish as specified by one of my recipe book. The troublesome part is to pull the thread from the stem. However, I didnt know that it will taste so good with wolfberries. Thanks for the tip.


    • wiffy replied: — April 20th, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

      is “yin choi” the spinach with purple veins? I didn’t know it can be used in this dish, I’m going to try it next time. Thanks for sharing :)


      • juhuacha replied: — April 23rd, 2010 @ 11:33 am

        Hi Wiffy,
        Another type of spinach is known as “yin choi” or “苋菜”. It is under the brand of pasar or yilin from NTUC. Believe it should be the round spinach that u have tried.

        • wiffy replied: — April 23rd, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

          oh it’s 苋菜, then I have tried before. I thought it’s another type. I like that one! Thx juhuacha :)

  3. Ms Moon — April 20, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

    I do agree that 苋菜 or 菠菜 are the most suitable vegetables for this dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe for sauce mixture, it’s the key element the success of the dish. Hmm… thinking of cooking this as I’m having some anchovy stock in the fridge :-)


    • wiffy replied: — April 20th, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

      Hope the recipe turns out well for you :)


  4. Angelyn — April 27, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    wow i tried this dish at home and it’s really good.. =)


    • wiffy replied: — April 27th, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

      wow happy to hear that. Thank you! :-)


  5. Sotongcook — June 26, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

    Wat is white bait…..sorry mayb I ask real sotong q…


    • wiffy replied: — June 28th, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

      hi sotongcook, they look like ikan bilis but it’s the white/translucent type before deep frying. Some people call it silver fish (not to be confused with the insect found in books). You can get it at the Chinese dried goods section, I bought mine at Fu Hua. Hope this helps.


  6. Tastes of Home — July 28, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

    wa…I really like this dish…I will definitely try this recipe :)


  7. Mary — October 18, 2010 @ 9:16 am

    Hi Wiffy…

    I tried this dish on sat and it turned out well….except that i don’t have abalone sauce so i used salt instead. Frying ikan billis is a real challenge…. :-)

    thanks for the easy steps you provided….i’m going to try other receipe…hee hee


    • wiffy replied: — October 18th, 2010 @ 10:28 am

      Yes frying ikan bilis can be a challenge, make sure they are dried before adding to the oil. Glad it turned out well, happy cooking :)


  8. stella — May 10, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    I just tried out the recipe with wolfberries, love it! Thank you for sharing :)


  9. sherilynyeo — December 30, 2014 @ 1:09 am

    Hi Wiffy,

    I have tried this dish and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing! Nw i wanna try to add in salted eggs. Please teach me when and how should i add in the salted eggs?


    • wiffy replied: — December 31st, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

      For raw salted duck egg, finely chop the egg yolk. Add yolk and/or white in step 3 to let it cook through. For cooked salted egg (the type we use in porridge), just dice it up and add at step 4, together with century egg. You may want to tone down the seasonings, to taste, as the salted egg is very salty.


  10. Jaz — August 27, 2015 @ 8:42 am

    What if I would like to add chicken eggs n 皮蛋?when do I add the in?


    • wiffy replied: — August 27th, 2015 @ 1:38 pm

      Add eggs right at the end. See recipe on page two for the steps.


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