This stir-fried spinach with garlic dish features everything you want in a simple side dish: very few ingredients, minimal prep and maximum flavor. I’ll bet you have everything you need in your pantry to make it right now.
This dish was one that I ate a lot of as a kid. Now in my twenties, I really appreciate how easy it is to make and how delicious it is. Garlic just has a way of making vegetables taste better.
This dish is also a classic example in Chinese cooking of stir-frying using very minimal ingredients and seasoning, a technique commonly used to cook vegetables. The emphasis is to bring out the essence of the main ingredient, and the seasoning is there only to enhance its flavor and aroma.
Buy the pre-washed packages of baby spinach in your grocery store, because I am sure you detest washing vegetables as much as I do. Smash the garlic clove with the side of your knife to make it easier to peel it, a helpful tip I extracted from watching the Food Network Channel too many times as a kid with my mom. It was also where I picked up fancy terms like “julienne” and “gratin,” — quite advanced for my eight year old self.
Stir-frying can look deceptively easy, but it does take some practice and concentration on getting the timing right. It is very easy to overcook the spinach, resulting in a not-so-nice texture to the dish. When the spinach starts to wilt, turn off the heat and remove it from the wok.
And just a note to all the vegetable-averse people out there, think of this as an easy and faster way to down a lot of vitamins. Or do as my husband says and just add some bacon.
Stir-fried Spinach with Garlic
- 2 bags of baby spinach (about 400g)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pinch of sugar
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- Oil for stir-frying
Heat wok on high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Turn down the heat to medium. Add spinach and stir-fry until it just starts to wilt, about 1 minute.
Turn off the heat. Add a pinch of sugar and 1/2 tsp salt and stir for a few more seconds until incorporated. Add more salt to taste.
Serve with a main dish.