How To Stir-Fry Spinach with Garlic
Tips For Stir-Frying Spinach
- For larger bunches, just strip out the tough parts of the stem and chop or tear the leaves.
- Make sure the spinach is dry as much as possible.
- There’s no need to cover the pan when stir-frying spinach in a wok.
- Add a pinch of sugar to bring out its flavors.
Serves 2 to 3
- 10 to 16 ounces
spinach or baby spinach
- 2 to 3 cloves
garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon
peanut or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/8 teaspoon
Salad spinner or clean kitchen towels
14-inch flat-bottomed carbon steel wok (not nonstick)
Wok spatula, fish spatula, or another spatula with a thin, metal blade
Wash and dry the spinach: Spin the washed spinach in a salad spinner or press thoroughly between kitchen towels to make sure the spinach is as dry as possible before cooking. Spinach with a lot of water on the leaves will steam in the wok and become soggy.
Chop the spinach into pieces: Remove any thick, tough stems. Chop or tear the spinach leaves into roughly 2-inch pieces. Baby spinach can be stir-fried as is.
Heat the wok: Set your wok or skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two of contact.
Add the oil: Pour the oil down the side of the pan. Swirl to coat the bottom and lower sides of the wok evenly.
Stir-fry the garlic: Stir-fry just until fragrant, 10 to 20 seconds.
Add the spinach: Add the spinach to the pan all at once. Stir to mix in the garlic and coat the spinach with oil.
Stir-fry until just starting to wilt: Stir-fry the spinach until you see the edges of the leaves start to soften, 30 to 60 seconds.
Add the salt and sugar: Sprinkle the salt and sugar evenly over the spinach.
Stir-fry one more minute: Keep moving the spinach around the wok until the spinach has just barely collapsed and wilted, but is still bright green.
Serve immediately: Transfer the spinach to a serving plate and serve immediately.
Stir-frying other greens with this technique: You can stir-fry other soft greens with this technique, like arugula, romaine lettuce, or watercress.
Add more flavor: Try stir-frying a teaspoon of minced fresh ginger along with the garlic. You can also season the finished spinach with soy sauce or tamari, or make a quick sauce of equal parts rice wine, chicken broth, and soy sauce and add this after uncovering and before stir-frying the spinach.