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Stir-fried Sweet Potato Leaves in Chilli

Sweet Potato Leaves in Chilli

My friend, Rian, who is an Indonesian Chinese, taught me how to make this delicious and spicy vegetable stir fry. I think IndoChine cuisine is similar in some ways to the Chinese/Malay food in Singapore, because we have influences from various ethnic races so our food is also spicy. You can substitute sweet potato leaves with kangkong (kangkung) if you like. I cut the stems to smaller pieces because I think it’s easier to eat them cut, and this was inspired by the delicious stir fry vegetables I had at Bollywood Veggies. The result is a wonderful balance between salty and spicy. This goes really well with rice.

(Serves 2-3)

– 200g sweet potato leaves 番薯叶 (I use the “baby” type but you can use the regular type too)
– 1 large red chilli, sliced
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
– 1 tsp light soy sauce
– 2 tbsp vegetable/olive oil
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 shallots, sliced finely

(A) For pounding (See step 2)
– 1 tbsp salted soya beans (aka dou jiang, ‘tauco’, ‘tao cheow‘, 豆酱)
– 3 chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli), sliced
– 3 shallots, finely chopped
– 1/2 tsp brown sugar
– 1/2 tbsp shrimp paste (belacan)

1. Trim the stem ends of the sweet potato leaves, then cut to separate the sweet potato leaves and the stems. Slice the stems to about 2-3cm lengths and set aside.
2. Pound the ingredients in (A) using a mortar and pestle.
3. Heat oil in pan, fry the sliced shallots, sliced large chilli and minced garlic till fragrant.
4. Add the pounded ingredients prepared in step 2 and stir fry for a minute till fragrant (see cooking note 2).
5. Increase to high heat, add the stems and stir fry for a minute or two.
6. Add leaves, water and light soy sauce. Stir fry till the leaves have just wilted and cooked.

Sweet Potato Leaves in Chilli

Cooking Notes:
1. The large chilli is for colour while the smaller chilli padi is for spiciness.
2. When frying the chilli paste, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated because the fumes from cooking the paste can be stinging.
3. It is important to stir fry the vegetables in high heat so that they have a nice crunchy bite when cooked.

Leave a Comment

44 Responses to “Stir-fried Sweet Potato Leaves in Chilli”

  1. Little Inbox — November 16, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

    I love sweet potato leaves. Your version looks flavorful.


  2. Rian Handayani — November 16, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

    You mention me and it make me blush… Your dish looks so much better than mine. Please cook for me… LOL


    • wiffy replied: — November 17th, 2009 @ 10:27 am

      Hehe, sure, you teach me and I cook for u … what goes around comes around. U gotta love it whether it’s nice or not coz it’s your recipe! haha


  3. WizzyTheStick — November 22, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    I never knew that sweet potato leaves were edible. How lovely. I must try them.


    • wiffy replied: — November 22nd, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

      Yes they are popular greens in Asia. Hope you find them and that you like the recipe. :-)


  4. reena — December 5, 2009 @ 1:36 am

    I grew up eating this dish and I love it! Coincidentally, I just cooked it 3 days ago when my niece and nephew came visiting. But it’s not easy to find the sweet potato leaves where I live, can only get from wet market only.


    • wiffy replied: — December 5th, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

      You’re from Singapore too right? I’m seeing this quite often at NTUC these days, especially the smaller type which they labelled as “baby sweet potato leaves”


  5. Amy — January 28, 2013 @ 12:47 am

    Waah!! My favourite dish.. :-) My mom used to cook this a lot, albeit with lesser ingredients, a much simpler taste.. This dish with just a plate of plain rice is da bomb! Hehehe..


  6. yvonne — November 8, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

    Dear personal in-charge,

    May i know how to cook fried potato with chilli .
    kindly let me know thanks you.
    i wish to learn from you.


  7. Stella — February 23, 2015 @ 10:22 am

    For a whole year I never found potato leaves in Perth – last weekend I did so I quickly bought a bunch and the next thing I did was to check if your site has a recipe! So glad it does.



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