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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Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey2 years ago

Thank you.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Slava R.
Slava R2 years ago

Thank you!

Alvin King
Alvin King2 years ago


Nimue P.

I eat spinach raw :)

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago


Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Carla van der Meer

Thanks, looks good.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

JL A2 years ago