Ah Ma's Sweet Potato Leaves in Fermented Beancurd
Sweet potato leaves cooked in a sauce of aromatic dried shrimp, garlic and fermented yellow beancurd until very soft and smooth. A popular and versatile recipe that is quick and easy to prepare!
INGREDIENTS FOR SWEET POTATO LEAVES IN FERMENTED BEANCURD (serves 4-5)
PREPARATION FOR SWEET POTATO LEAVES IN FERMENTED BEANCURD (25 minutes)
- Wash the dried shrimp, then soak in 3/4 rice bowl of boiling water for 15 minutes.
- Mash up the fermented beancurd.
- Wash the sweet potato leaves and drain over sieve.
- Remove the outer skin of the stem of the sweet potato leaves.
- Remove the dried shrimp from the water, and set aside the shrimp water for later use.
- Chop the dried shrimp finely.
- Make a cornstarch solution by mixing the tsp of corn flour with 2 tsp of the shrimp water.
COOKING METHOD FOR SWEET POTATO LEAVES IN FERMENTED BEANCURD (20 minutes)
- Add oil to the wok using medium heat. Once oil is heated, fry the chopped shrimp until it becomes aromatic.
- Lower the fire, then add in the garlic and fermented beancurd. This is prevent the garlic from burning and to reduce the spattering from the oil due to the water content of the fermented beancurd. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn up the heat to medium fire, and add in the sweet potato leaves slowly. As you fry, the leaves will rapidly reduce in bulk, so you should be able to fry all the leaves at one go.
- Add the rest of the shrimp water and continue to fry for about 10-15 minutes.
- When the leaves are softened, the dish is ready to serve. Test whether the leaves and stems are softened by using a metal spatula to cut it up – if the stem breaks easily the dish is cooked.
- When the dish is able to be ready, add the cornstarch solution and allow the sauce to thicken.
- Finally, transfer the sweet potato leaves to a serving dish, garnish with crispy garlic and serve hot.
TOP TIPS FOR SWEET POTATO LEAVES IN FERMENTED BEANCURD
- You need to remove the skin of the sweet potato leaves otherwise it will taste very fibrous. First, separate the sweet potato leaves from the stems. Then remove the fibrous skin of the stem as much as possible. You can do this easily by breaking each stem in two-inch lengths and then pulling along the stem. This should help to remove most of the skin. Then Add salt to a basin of water to wash the sweet potato leaves and stems separately, as the salt helps to remove any dirt / mud. Thereafter, wash with water for another 2-3 times and drain.
- If you find it a hassle to remove the skin from the stems or are short on time, you can also substitute the Sweet Potato Leaves with 1) Kang Kong (same cooking time), 2)Iceberg Lettuce (cut each leaf into 3 or 4 pieces, and fry for 10 min instead of 15 min) or 3) Baby Spinach (fry for 10 min instead of 15 min) so you can skip the step of removing the skin.
- Unlike other vegetables like Cai Xin and Kai Lan which turn limp if overcooked, you need to fry sweet potato leaves for longer. This way, the texture of the leaves will be soft and smooth.
- It is important to fry the dried shrimp until aromatic, so it will bring out the taste of the shrimp, otherwise the dish will lack that distinctive hei bee flavour.
- For the Ah Kong version, all you need to do is add 1-2 Tbsp of belachan chili while frying the dried shrimp.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Ensure the brand of yellow fermented beancurd you use is gluten free.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: Skip the dried shrimp.
- Vegan: Skip the dried shrimp.
- Vegetarian: Skip the dried shrimp.