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Malabar Spinach
Indonesia

Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
2 main  
**
25 min
Most
Milder and more substantial than regular spinach, Malabar, combined with the sweetness of coconut cream and the tartness of lime juice, makes a surprisingly satisfying vegetarian light main dish when served with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice. If you wish, you can extend it with some small cubes of cooked potato, pork or chicken, or pieces of fish.






1
1
1
1
1/2
4
1/4
14
1/3
2
#

cl

in

c
oz
t
T
Malabar Spinach (1)
Scallion
Garlic
Chili, red (2)
Galangal (3)
Kaffir Lime leaf (4)
Lime Juice
Coconut Cream (5)
Salt
Oil
Prep   -   (15 min)
  1. Rinse SPINACH and shake off excess water. Break tendrils into convenient lengths, separating large leaves and tearing really large ones into two or three pieces. Discard stems 1/4 inch diameter or larger and any that seem fibrous.
  2. Slice SCALLION into thin rings, white and green, and add to Spinach.
  3. Crush GARLIC, slice and chop very fine.
  4. Cap Chili and cut into fine slivers.
  5. Slice GALANGAL thin and rumple Lime Leaves.
  6. Squeeze LIME JUICE.
Run   (10 min)
  1. In a sauce pan combine Coconut Cream, Salt, Galangal and Lime Leaves. Bring to a slow simmer - carefully or it'll foam all over your stove. Cover and let simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes or so to infuse the flavors.
  2. Heat OIL. preferably in a wok, but a spacious sauté pan will work. Fry Garlic stirring until it starts to color, then stir in Chili for a 15 seconds or so.
  3. Stir in Spinach and fry stirring just until wilted and a uniform cooked color - don't overcook. Pour off excess liquid if there is any.
  4. Pour in Coconut Cream, through a strainer to remove solids, and stir until well incorporated with the spinach.
  5. Bring back to a simmer, then stir in Lime Juice and take off the heat.
  6. Serve warm with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice.
NOTES:
  1. Malabar Spinach:   (Mong Toi, Saan Choy) It's related to cactus, not regular spinach, but has a similar (but much milder) taste. Be careful not to overcook it - it can become slimy. For details see our Malabar Spinach page.
  2. Chili, Red:   Around here we all use red Fresno chilis, but Holland Red or similar will work fine. I usually use two for a little more bite. See our Chili Page for details.
  3. Galangal:   Use fresh or frozen - do not attempt to use powdered. If you can't get galangal use fresh ginger root, not the same flavor but something at least. For details see my Galangal page.
  4. Kaffir Lime Leaf:   These come two to a stem so you need two stems. If you don't have them grate some zest from a regular lime - not a really good substitute but better than anything else. See our Kaffir Lime page for details.
  5. Coconut Cream:   This is thicker than coconut milk. Most of the can is the thick stuff that floats to the top with just a little of the clear liquid in the bottom. It is sweeter than coconut milk.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch ar=as required tt=to taste
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