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Stir-Fried Garlic Spinach

Stir-Fried Garlic Spinach

This spinach has earned a permanent place in my kitchen repertoire. It’s so tasty, so fast and so easy that I just can’t quit it. Not that I’d ever want to quit it…

It comes by way of Grace Young’s lovely cookbook, The Breath of a Wok, which my husband gave me as a gift after we returned from a trip to Southeast Asia what feels like a lifetime ago (we were so young…) I’ve been making Auntie Yi’s Stir-Fried Garlic Spinach ever since. It’s so easy that I always feel a little like I’m cheating somehow. The seasoning is incredibly simple – a tablespoon of rice mirin mixed with equal parts sugar and salt.

There are just two things that you need to do to make this a truly stand-out dish:

1. Use really fresh, flavorful spinach – it makes a huge difference in the taste.
2. Get your wok (or wide, flat-bottomed pan if you don’t have a wok) really, really hot and don’t crowd the spinach. If you want to make more than one bunch of spinach, do it in two batches to ensure you can really stir-fry it effectively.

Gorgeous first spinach of the season from Taliaferro farms by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2014

When I saw the first spinach of the season from Taliaferro Farms in the produce section of my health food store last week, looking all gorgeous and tender and a practically radioactive shade of green that only occurs in the spring, I knew this would be on the menu.

A little washing and drying, chopping, mixing and stir-frying and BOOM, we were in business.

Frying the spinach by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2014

As always, it was SO GOOD!

Auntie Yi's Stir-Fried Garlic Spinach by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2014

Stir-Fried Garlic Spinach minimally adapted from Grace Young’s excellent book The Breath of a Wok
Serves 4 as a side


* 2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
* 1 Tbsp minced garlic
* 1 bunch fresh spinach (about 10 ounces)
* 1/2 tsp sea salt
* 1/2 tsp cane sugar
* 1 Tbsp rice mirin or dry sherry
* 1-2 tsps toasted sesame seeds (optional)


1. Heat a 14-inch flat bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds.

2. Add all the spinach and stir-fry for 10 seconds.

3. Add the salt, sugar and rice wine and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until the spinach is just tender but still bright green. Garnish with the sesame seeds (if you like them, that is) and serve.

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For even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration “like” the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmersí markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.


+ add your own
9:33PM PDT on Jun 28, 2014

Thank you.

6:42AM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

Thank you :)

4:55PM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

Thank you!

11:52AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014


5:51PM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

I eat spinach raw :)

10:58AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014


8:50AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

6:36PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Thanks, looks good.

4:55PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Thank you :)

2:41PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014


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