Stir-fried 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.
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- 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.
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.