Serves: 4 - Time:
On a recent trip to the Far East a plate of morning glory (or water spinach/water convolvulus) was pretty much the first thing ordered at every dinner, such is my passion for this vegetable. It doesn’t have much flavour (a bit like pak choi and choi sum) so it is cooked with a pungent mix of shrimp paste, garlic and chilli but even after cooking it has a satisfyingly crunchy texture. I admit it’s not easy to source in this country but if you are lucky enough to live near an Asian supermarket you’ll undoubtedly find some bunches in the fresh vegetable section. I order mine from www.thai-food-online.co.uk along with peeled garlic, tamarind pods, Asian shallots, galangal and fresh turmeric –none of which are available locally.
- 400g water spinach, washed
- 7 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1-2 dried red chillies (depending on how much heat you like)
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 250g shitake mushrooms, thick stalks trimmed
- ½ tablespoon Thai fish sauce
- Trim the ends off the morning glory and discard. Cut the stems into 4-5cm long pieces. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the morning glory and bring up to the boil. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain really well and pat dry with kitchen paper. Set aside.
- Put three of the garlic cloves in a pestle with the chillies, ginger, shrimp paste and three tablespoons water. Pound to a paste and set aside. Finely slice the remaining garlic cloves.
- Heat the oil in a wok and add the spring onions and sliced garlic, stir-fry for one minute.
- Add the paste and cook for a further one minute. Throw in the mushrooms and cook for one minute then add the morning glory and fish sauce and stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.