Recipe Saute Watercress

Water spinach stir-fry, or "tumis selada air" in Indonesian, is a delicious and nutritious dish commonly enjoyed in Southeast Asian cuisine. Bursting with flavors and nutrients, this dish is quick and easy to prepare. Here's how to make it:


  • 1 bunch of water spinach (about 300g), washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 red chili peppers, thinly sliced (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the cooking oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat.

  2. Add the minced garlic and sliced shallots to the pan. Stir-fry until fragrant and lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.

  3. Add the sliced red chili peppers to the pan. Stir-fry for another minute.

  4. Add the water spinach to the pan. Stir-fry continuously until the spinach wilts and turns bright green, about 2-3 minutes.

  5. Drizzle the oyster sauce and soy sauce over the spinach. Stir well to combine and ensure the spinach is evenly coated with the sauces.

  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue stir-frying for another minute.

  7. Once the spinach is cooked to your desired level of tenderness, remove the pan from heat.

  8. Transfer the water spinach stir-fry to a serving dish.


  • Serve the water spinach stir-fry hot as a side dish alongside steamed rice or as part of a larger meal.
  • Garnish with some freshly chopped spring onions or fried shallots for added flavor and texture.


  • Be sure not to overcook the water spinach to maintain its crisp texture and vibrant color.
  • Adjust the amount of chili peppers according to your preference for spiciness.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the oyster sauce or substitute it with vegetarian oyster sauce or mushroom sauce.
  • You can add protein such as tofu, shrimp, or chicken to make it a more substantial main dish.


  • Add sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes for a refreshing twist.
  • Incorporate chopped fresh herbs like Thai basil or cilantro for added aroma and flavor.
  • Include other vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, or snap peas for a colorful and nutritious stir-fry.

Nutritional Information:

  • Water spinach is low in calories and rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium. A typical serving of water spinach stir-fry contains approximately 50-70 calories per 100g serving, depending on the amount of oil and sauces used.


Water spinach stir-fry is a simple yet flavorful dish that celebrates the freshness of water spinach and the bold flavors of garlic, shallots, and chili peppers. With its versatility and nutritional benefits, it's a perfect addition to any meal, providing a healthy and delicious option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. So, next time you're looking for a quick and satisfying dish, give this water spinach stir-fry recipe a try!


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