Mmmm…. tender bites of baby spinach with crispy whitebait!
The highlight of the dish… at least to my girl 🙂
Baby spinach is one of the favourite vegetables in my home so I do stir-fries with it as well as cook it in soup (see Spinach soup recipe).
It’s incredibly nutritious but it’s also quite tedious to make sure it’s really clean so I spend quite a bit of time making sure that the spinach is thoroughly washed.
White bait (银鱼) is also extremely nutritious and I don’t quite know any kid who would turn down crispy white bait when offered some so instead of hiding it in omelette (which my mum used to do – I could see it so I think that didn’t count as hiding), I decided to just make the white bait crispy. Not too much effort really and even adults would love the extra crunch with the tender spinach.
- 1-2 bunches of baby spinach from the wet market (1 packet from the supermarket)
- 1 big handful of Japanese (dried) whitebait or more if you'd like
- 100ml stock/water
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- shallot and garlic oil (made by frying shallot and garlic in oil till they brown) - optional. Use normal oil if you don't have this on hand
- In a wok, heat some shallot and garlic oil then add the whitebait and pan-fry till they turn golden brown and crisp.
- Set aside the whitebait on a kitchen towel to remove any excess oil. You can fry the whitebait using the microwave as well. Place cleaned whitebait in a deep microwave safe bowl, and pour enough oil to cover half the amount of whitebait. Cover (leaving a small gap) with microwave safe plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes, stopping it every minute to check.
- With the remaining oil in the wok, fry the garlic till fragrant.
- Add the baby spinach and stir-fry for about half a minute.
- Add the stock/water and simmer till the spinach is cooked.
- Add fish sauce to taste.
- Dish and top with crispy whitebait.