This is a bowl of spinach (bayam) with century egg which we had at a restaurant. I think this bowl costs us at least RM15. They fried the century egg (for what reason, I don’t know) and it is a nice soup. In fact, many of the local restaurants here keep recommending this dish. They must make a killer profit because one century egg is only 60 cents and a bunch of the spinach is not more than RM1.50. LOL, imagine the profit they get!
Spinach has a very strong ‘earthy’ flavour so making soup is ideal as it lends it ‘earth’ taste to the dish. So, without spending a bomb at restaurants, I tried recreating my own.
I have two versions.
Version one with Chinese Shaoxiang wine and herb – yoke chok.
1 tiny bunch of young spinach, clean thoroughly. They tend to have lots of sands, so clean it well.
Big bowl of water (just get the quantity which you can finish)
A few pieces of yok chok. Yoke chok is some Chinese bark.
A few pips of garlic
Century egg (and some add one salted duck egg too)
1 small fistful of whitebaits (the tiny, little, white ikan bilis?)
Flavourings – salt, pepper and two tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
Boil the water. Add the garlic, yoke chok and white bait to simmer through till the soup is tasty. Add the egg and spinach and the flavourings. Simmer for a while until the spinach is soft. Usually, spinach takes a longer time to cook than regular vegetables as it is more fibrous. However, if the spinach is really young, then, it cooks faster.
VERSION TWO – kei chee
I omitted the yoke chok and the wine. Instead, I add goji berries or kei chee. The rest of the method is the same. In the photo above, I also added some inoki mushrooms.