Best Sautéed Chinese Spinach is a vegetarian sauteed or pan fried spinach recipe, with baby spinach or kale, broth, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and more! Different and delicious!
As I update this post, it is a beautiful spring day here but it is a spring like no other. The sky is bluer than it’s ever been and the waters have never been clearer.
And to my delight, I’m seeing different types of birds in my backyard that I have never seen before. It is remarkable.
Cooking can be like therapy for many of us. It is therapy for me too and gives me pleasure to be able to share my recipes with you.
Sauteed spinach is just one of them.
Have you ever asked yourself this question: Is eating raw spinach better than cooked?
It’s been said that raw spinach contains an acid that can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients. But when spinach is heated, those nutrients aren’t lost.
There’s conflicting opinions about this, so the jury is still out on this one as the science of food is constantly changing.
Although this may be a boring fact, without a doubt, cooked spinach is rich in fiber, vitamins, calcium and iron.
So, that’s great news knowing you’re eating healthy and this can be satisfying in itself. But if the flavor is missing in sauteed spinach, there’s not much joy in eating it.
Luckily, I have some incredible sauteed spinach recipes to share with you and this Chinese spinach dish is just one of them.
We used to frequent a local Chinese restaurant that made exceptional Chinese Spinach. I liked it so much, I was inspired to make my own.
Before attempting it, I practically begged the restaurant to share their secret ingredients. It didn’t surprise me they weren’t willing to give them up and who could blame them?
So, I created a recipe called the Best Chinese Spinach and the results were fantastic!
Ken and Patrick called my homemade version Chinese Spinach because it tasted very much like the Chinese restaurant. What a compliment that was!
My next door neighbor, Renate and my personal food critic adores Chinese spinach and she was pleasantly surprised at my rendition.
The ingredients included broth, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch.
Combine these elements with the spinach and you’ve got flavors that are truly amazing. Spinach lovers rejoice!
Pan Fried Spinach
Spinach doesn’t have to be tasteless and boring. Ken and I eat spinach all the time and continually look for new ways of making it.
One of them is this Pan Fried Spinach.
Quick and easy to make, it is loaded with flavor and is the perfect weekday side dish!
Spinach vs. Kale
Kale part of the cabbage family and is very popular these days. It is loaded with antioxidants and has cancer-fighting properties. The most common type is curly or Scots.
There is also Italian kale which is flat with greenish blue leaves and is often used in Tuscan recipes. Whatever type you choose, it is perfect for pan frying.
Sesame oil is like no other. It’s unique, slightly sweet, nutty and wakes up the flavor of many dishes including Pan Fried Spinach.
According to “The Spruce Eats”, the 3 most commons soy sauces are: dark, light and thick. Light soy is typically used in Chinese recipes and is perfect in this Pan Fried Spinach.
Aged longer, dark soy is thicker and is mixed with caramel, molasses and cornstarch. Because of this, it can give your dish a darker color.
Thick soy has more wheat and sugar and thickened with starch. It is sweet-tasting and is very good in stir-fries.
Garlic is anti-inflammatory, can boost your immune system and has heart benefits.
There are over 400 varieties, but one of the most commonly seen in grocery stores is Softneck. Known for its parchment-like layers, there are two types: Silverskin and Artichoke.
Silverskin is strong in flavor and can last nearly a year if stored properly. Artichoke is milder and can be stored up to 8 months.
When eaten raw, it has a very strong flavor. When cooked, it is sweet and mild. Cooked or raw, I can’t imagine a world without it. It brings vitality to any dish and Pan Fried Spinach is no exception.
Ingredients in The Best Sautéed Chinese Spinach
- baby spinach or kale
- chicken or vegetable broth
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
How to make The Best Sautéed Spinach
- Wash and remove the stems from the spinach or kale.
- Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch and sesame oil in a small bowl. (Taste and add salt if needed).
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat until it shimmers or when a drop of water flicks and dances.
- Add the garlic and cook for approximately 1 minute.
- Stir but do not let the garlic brown.
- Quickly stir in the soy mixture and make sure the cornstarch is totally dissolved.
- Add to the garlic in the skillet.
- Simmer for a few minutes until mixture thickens.
- Increase the heat, add the spinach and cook.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to wilt and is completely coated in soy mixture (about 1 minute, maybe 2).
- Serve spinach with a slotted spoon
- Pour the juice over top of the spinach or on top of rice.
Baby Spinach Recipe
Finding a delicious baby spinach recipe is not always easy. Look no further. You have come to the right place.
This Baby Spinach Recipe is not typical of other spinach dishes. It is super tasty and stands out from all the rest. The ingredients and recipe are the same as listed above only you’re using baby spinach instead of regular or kale.
Advantages of Baby Spinach vs. Regular Spinach
- Baby spinach takes much less time to prepare than regular spinach. It’s easier to wash and you don’t need to trim most of the stems.
- Baby spinach is more sweet and tender than regular spinach which has more fiber and is substantially more chewier.
- Baby spinach leaves are smaller and is picked earlier than regular spinach; between 15-20 days.
- Regular spinach comes in bunches and is picked later; between 45 and 60 days.
- Baby spinach tastes great in salads and when wilted, melts in your mouth.
- Regular spinach takes a few minutes to wilt.
- Baby spinach takes less than a minute.
Overall, cooking baby spinach is quicker and much easier to work with than regular spinach. Give it a try. I think you will agree.
Vegetarian Spinach Recipes
Those who enjoy a vegetarian lifestyle, spinach can be their best friend. Swap chicken broth for vegetable and the vegetarian in your life will find these spinach recipes light, refreshing and simply wonderful!
The Best Sauteed Chinese Spinach is definitely worth a try. It’s spring on a plate! Bon appetite!
Sounds crazy but I need to mention the marinade we use to make asparagus. Sometimes roasted in the oven and sometimes on our barbecue. Same wonderful flavors.
If you are interested you can have a look at our Grilled Asparagus recipe. You will find the marinade recipe there.
Best Sauteed Spinach Recipes
Best Sautéed Chinese Spinach
Best Sautéed Chinese Spinach is a vegetarian sauteed or pan fried spinach recipe, with baby spinach or kale, broth, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and more!
- 1 1/2 pounds regular or baby spinach or baby kale
- 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 - 2 tablespoons sugar more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons garlic cloves, sliced or minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons olive or another vegetable oil more or less to taste
Wash and remove the stems from the spinach or kale, if necessary.
Combine the broth, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch and sesame oil in a small bowl. Taste and if needed add salt. I only add salt if I use low sodium broth and soy sauce. If either have salt I don't generally add any.
Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat until it shimmers or when a drop of water flicked in it dances.
Add the garlic and stir. If garlic starts to brown you need to reduce your heat.
Quickly stir the soy mixture to make sure the cornstarch is totally dissolved. Add to the garlic in the skillet.
Simmer for a few minutes until mixture thickens.
Increase the heat, add the spinach and cook.
Stir, with a wooden spoon, until starting to wilt and totally coated in soy mixture, about a minute.
When serving, serve with a slotted spoon to reduce juices or serve juices on top of rice.