Stir-fried Chinese Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu (Fu Ru)

Want a quick, flavorful Chinese-style dinner with healthy leafy greens? Stir-frying vegetables would be a perfect way to get nutrient-rich veggie into your family’s meal. In Chinese cuisine, water spinach is one of the most popular leafy veggies, known as Kong Xin Cai in Mandarin or Ong Choy in Cantonese.

Stir-fried Chinese Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu (Fu Ru) 6

Back in China, we used to eat water spinach every week. Its great flavor made me appreciate this particular vegetable at a very young age. Here in the U.S., water spinach is still an essential dish at Chinese restaurants and the most common vegetable sold in Chinese markets. Water spinach is so delicious that I can never get tired of eating.

Stir-fried Chinese Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu (Fu Ru) 4

Chinese water spinach has countless ways of cooking and different regional flavors. My favorite way to cook is with fermented tofu, a unique condiment made by fermenting soy bean curd. Fermented tofu is actually not as weird as it sounds. It has a really great savory flavor. Just like cheese in the Western world, fermented tofu is commonly used in Chinese cooking. This recipe is surprisingly simple yet delicious. That’s why I can’t wait to share it with you!

Stir-fried Chinese Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu (Fu Ru) 1

Stir-fried Chinese Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu (Fu Ru) 2

Stir-fried Chinese Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu (Fu Ru) 5


Stir-fried Chinese Water Spinach with Fermented Tofu (Fu Ru)

  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time:  5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Serving Size: 3


  • 1/2 lb water spinach
  • 2 cubes of fermented tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic,  peeled and sliced
  • 1 red chili pepper, sliced

Step by step:

  1. Remove wilted leaves and tough stems from the water spinach. Wash in running water twice and then transfer to a platter.
  2. Prepare garlic, red chili pepper, and fermented tofu.
  3. Heat oil in a wok over high heat and add the garlic slices. Then add water spinach.
  4. Mash up 2 cubes of fermented tofu into a small bowl and pour into the veggies and stir.
  5. Stir-fry over a high heat briefly, and then transfer to a large bowl.


See all Chinese MAIN DISH recipes



  1. September 8, 2015 / 3:10 am

    Enjoying your blog of real Chinese cooking!
    By the way, do you know how to make the dried tofu(noodle type) which Chinese cuisine use quite often?

    • September 8, 2015 / 3:50 am

      Thank you! For the dried tofu you mentioned, I believe it’s should be sold in all Chinese markets that you can easily get. Honestly, I haven’t made dried tofu before. It’s made from soybean curds. You have to first get soy milk by soaking dried soybeans and grinding them in water. Using a soy milk machine would be an easier way. Then filter and extract soy milk through a straining bag. Press and dry it to let the soy milk solidified and make it firm. After it’s in the desired shape, you can add some spices and boil the dried tofu to make five spices flavored tofu, which is quite often used in Chinese cooking. The process of making dried tofu is really complicated. Let me know if you decide to try! 😀

      • September 8, 2015 / 10:52 am

        Thanks for your advise. I will try to make it from ‘tofu’ some day, as you know Japan is a tofu country and I, myself being a tofu addict lol. Cheers!

        • September 8, 2015 / 5:07 pm

          You’re welcome! I hope it’s helpful. Good luck with your “tofu production!” Cheers!

  2. September 27, 2015 / 11:41 am

    I’ve been looking through your wonderful dishes but this one made me want to reach through the screen and have some. As a vegetarian, I appreciate your wonderful recipes. Your pictures are so large, colorful and clear. Lovely blog. Thank you. 🙂

    • September 27, 2015 / 11:51 am

      Thank you so much! You’re so sweet! I’m so happy that you want to try it out. It’s a very special Cantonese-style dish. I hope you will love it! 🙂

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