Other

Water Spinach Salad


Water spinach, also known as water morning glory or swamp weed, used to be peasant food grown in village ponds. It is now the country’s most popular green vegetable, and part of virtually every meal.

This popular dish from central Vietnam is a great example of local ingenuity, making use of the entire water spinach plant, and also finding a delicious way for preparing the stems, which otherwise would be quite tough. — Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl, authors of Made in Vietnam

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound 12 ounces water spinach (water morning glory)
  • 4 scallions, cut into 4-centimeter (1 1/2-inch) lengths, then sliced into strips
  • 1 handful Vietnamese mint
  • 1 handful mint
  • 1 long red chile, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 2 Tablespoons fried garlic (recipe below)
  • 1 Tablespoon fried shallots (recipe below)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted, plus extra to serve
  • 2 Tablespoons peanuts, unsalted and roasted, to serve

For the fried shallots:

  • 6 red Asian shallots, peeled
  • Vegetable or peanut oil, for deep-frying

For the fried garlic:

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the dressing:

  • 3 1/2 Ounces sugar
  • 3 1/2 fluid ounces lime juice
  • 1/4 Cup fish sauce

Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.


Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad (老醋菠菜花生)

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. The tender spinach and crispy peanuts give you a satisfying mouthfeel. The tart vinaigrette is slightly sweet and tastes so refreshing. It’s simple, highly nutritious, and easy to cook.

Chinese spinach and peanut salad is a combination of “old vinegar peanuts” (老醋花生, lao cu hua sheng) and Chinese style spinach salad. The two dishes are both stars in local Chinese restaurants and sometimes people serve them together to create a better mouthfeel.

To cook vinegar peanuts, the peanuts are quickly deep fried until crispy and then drizzled with a pungent vinegar dressing. The peanuts are buttery and crisp, while the vinegar adds great flavor and makes the dish more appetizing. The spinach salad shares the same idea, and the blanched spinach is served with the same vinegar dressing. Both dishes are served as simple appetizers, or so-called cold dishes (凉菜, liang cai), in China.

The vinegar sauce is the key. It usually uses old vinegar (老醋, lao cu), a Chinese aged black vinegar that is close to balsamic vinegar. The idea of the dressing is close to that of an Italian style balsamic vinaigrette too – the vinegar is mixed with herbs, oil and spices. But instead of using olive oil and black pepper, the Chinese one often uses the combination of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet nuance and a savory hint, but the refreshing sourness dominates the flavor.

In this recipe, I tried to reduce the seasoning to a minimum. My goal is to create a great tasting dressing with minimal effort.