1 bunch (4 oz) Pak Bung/Swamp Cabbage*
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6-8, shallots sliced (optional)
2-6 small chiles (phrik kee nu) minced to your taste
1 tsp yellow bean sauce *
1 Tab Thai Oyster Sauce
1 Tab Fish Sauce (nam pla)
4 Tabs Chicken broth or water
1/2 tsp sugar
generous grinding of black pepper
Wash the Pak Bung (spinach) well in cold water, shake excess water off, and break into bite-sized lengths, discarding any tough lower stems.
Heat the oil in a wok on medium heat, soften the garlic and shallots until they begin to brown usually 2 or 3 minutes. Then quickly add the Pak Bung stir-frying for 3 to 4 minutes on high heat until slightly wilted. Add the remaining ingredients.
A grind of pepper and serve at once while pipping hot with steamed Jasmine rice.
*Yellow bean sauce-Yellow Bean Sauce - comes in a tall bottle like a bottle of wine or also in smaller bottles 8 fl. oz., 11 fl. oz., 21 fl. oz., and 24 fl. oz.. The brand I use has a dragonfly on the label with the words Kwong Hung Seng Sauce and then Chinese characters below that. It is from Thailand. However the following are other available ones that are great as well.
Other Yellow Soy Bean Sauce
"Healthy Boy" "Soy Bean Paste Formula 1."
"Yeo's Salted Soy Beans."
Based on recipe from
The Taste of Thailand
Notes-I use more garlic and he doesn't use the shallots which we like. I also think I use more than 4 oz. of Pak Bung as I just buy a bunch. A huge bunch fries to nothing just like spinach.
Option: add 2 ounces of dried shrimp lightly pounded
Ipomoea reptans, I. Aquatica
Also known as water convolvulus and swamp cabbage. This leafy vegetable is prolific in many parts of Asia. The leaves are long and pointed and dark green, the stems paler green and hollow. It is readily available in Asian markets. The Vietnamese call it Vietnamese vegetable and the Thais call it Thai vegetable.
Preparation: It should be washed thoroughly as it grows in swampy areas. It may be cooked like spinach, stir-fried with various sauces, or added to soups. To keep a bright colour blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, refresh in cold water and drain. Add to recipe and toss with flavours for a minute or so.
This veggie is popular in almost all of Asia and Southeast Asia.
Thailand: pak boong/bung
Vietnam: rau muong, rau muong che
China: ong choy, ung tsai, Kang Kung or Ching Quat
Sri Lanka: kangkung
This is how they do it on the street in Thailand-warning don't try this at home!