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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”

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  1. Nate — November 12, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

    One of my favorite dishes to order when we eat out at Malaysian restaurants back in the States. Here in Malaysia, I think “Sabah vegetable” is the best leaf for this application. But this kind of veg is hard to come by.


    • wiffy replied: — November 17th, 2009 @ 10:19 am

      I hope that one day, I can get my hands on the sabah vegetables you mentioned. It sounds delicious!


  2. The Little Teochew — November 12, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

    Mmmm Mmmm! Yums! They look perfect :)


  3. HoppingHammy — November 12, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

    This looks gorgeous….WOW! :up:


  4. lisaiscooking — November 12, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

    Sounds fantastic! I love greens cooked with chillis.


  5. Ching — November 13, 2009 @ 4:30 am

    Yummy, one of my favorite veggies!


  6. pigpigscorner — November 13, 2009 @ 6:02 am

    I miss this veg, wish I could get it here! Looks so delicious!


    • wiffy replied: — November 17th, 2009 @ 10:39 am

      aww no sweet potato leaves in US? u can substitute with water spinach or other similar vegetables :)


  7. mycookinghut — November 13, 2009 @ 6:06 am

    This is one of my favs!!! Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish, you rock! 8)


    • wiffy replied: — November 17th, 2009 @ 10:33 am

      Hope you like it :halo: It’s one of my faves as well!


  8. Janet@ Gourmet Traveller 88 — November 13, 2009 @ 6:50 am

    this is awesome, I had sweet potato leaves (very healthy) in HK but not possible here. U make me hungry now : )


    • wiffy replied: — November 17th, 2009 @ 10:36 am

      U can eat extra helpings of these Asian greens next time you’re back in HK and Asia :)


  9. peachkins — November 13, 2009 @ 7:28 am

    I love sweet potato leaves


  10. sk — November 13, 2009 @ 7:52 am

    Will try the recipe soon. I planted this veg in my small garden. When i am short of green vegetable, i will just take from the garden.


    • wiffy replied: — November 17th, 2009 @ 10:20 am

      How lucky you are to enjoy them fresh from the garden! Hope you like the recipe :)


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