|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This simple Chinese-style spinach stir-fry with garlic pairs nicely with steak. You can also enjoy it with grilled chicken, rice, or noodles. It has a bit of sweet and a bit of spice to blend with the bite of the garlic.
You'll start with fresh spinach leaves. You can use baby spinach if you prefer. Find these in the grocery store or at a farmers market in season, or even better—from your garden. Be sure to wash the spinach well to remove any sand or grit as is often seen in commercially-grown spinach.
Even if your family or guests often turn up their noses at this healthy green, they may discover how wonderful spinach is when cooked quickly and perfectly seasoned. It is as far from slimy boiled canned spinach as you can get. The fat and calories are also far less than in creamed spinach, which is often offered as a vegetable side for steak.
You can make this recipe in either a wok or a frying pan. The directions would be the same. You can use a heavy-bottomed frying pan interchangeably with a wok. If you use a heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan you can reduce the oil a bit.
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon chili paste (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 10 ounces fresh spinach (rinsed and dried)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar (granulated)
- 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- Optional: black pepper, to taste
Have all the ingredients at hand near the stove. Preheat the wok and add the oil, swirling so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the wok.
When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic, chili paste, and salt. Stir for a few seconds until the garlic is aromatic.
Add the spinach and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until the leaves are almost wilted.
Stir in the sugar and Asian sesame oil. (Note: if you don't already have the sugar and sesame oil measured out, move the wok to a cold burner while you do so, and then return it to the heated burner).
Sprinkle the spinach with a bit of black pepper if desired. Serve immediately.
Garlic spinach will go with a wide variety of cuisines. You can refrigerate any leftovers and reheat them in the microwave. Leftovers can easily be added to noodle and rice dishes as well or used in an omelet the next morning.
As always, how much seasoning to add comes down to personal preference. Feel free to reduce the amount of salt and/or garlic if desired, or to increase the amount of spinach to 12 ounces. Of course, if you’re a fan of garlic you can always add more.