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Morning glory stir fried with a fork on a plate

Thai Morning Glory Stir-Fried (Pak Boong Fai Dang)

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
  • Diet: Low Fat


Thai morning glory stir-fried (Pak Boong Fai Dang) is a popular leafy greens simple side dish served all over Thailand. The Chinese water spinach is cooked at high heat in a hot wok with a good amount of garlic and umami stir-fry sauce to make it a delicious dish to have as a side dish. 


  • 10 oz (300 grams morning Glory/water spinach.
  • 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soybean paste
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped small
  • 1-4 fresh Thai chilis*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 4 tablespoon of water. As needed.


  1. In a large bowl, soak, wash, rinse the morning glory in cold water, and cut the morning glory into small pieces. See kitchen notes for the best tips for cutting. 
  2. Mix the sauce and use only 2 tablespoons of water. Save the other half for the wok. Heat a large wok or a large skillet on high heat, and add oil. Once hot, add the garlic and chilis and cook until lightly brown. 15-30 seconds
  3. Add the water spinach, and use a spatula to flip the vegetable around with the chilis and garlic for 2 minutes until the morning glory starts to wilt. 
  4. You’ll have to work fast and stay close to the pan here. Add water, hear the pan sizzle, and quickly stir everything together. *flames in Thailand
  5. Add the sauce, stir in well, and often. Cook for 1 more minute, turn the heat off, and let residual heat continues to cook the vegetable for a few more seconds. Place on a serving plate and serve hot with steamed rice. Sticky rice is a fun rice entree for this dish, as you can roll up the sticky rice with your fingers into rice balls and dip the rice into the umami sauce!


  • This dish cooks fast and on high heat. Use caution when adding the spinach to the hot pan. You’ll want to stay close and stir the vegetable often. 
  • Cutting the water spinach. Cut the morning glory stems into about 2-3 inch pieces. This is where you'll have the crunchy stems cut at about 2-3 inches long, while the softer stems and leafy parts are only cut into 4-6 inches pieces. 
  • The amount of water spinach used will seem large and overfill your pan. Don’t panic. The vegetable will wilt fast and A lot in the pan's heat. Once done, you’ll end up with 2 cups of cooked water spinach. (: 
  • When adding water to the wok in step 2, the water added to high heat will help wilt the leaves quicker. In Thailand, this is where you’ll see red flames of fire charring the water spinach in the wok. Thus, the dish's actual name in Thai is “Pak Boong Fai Dang.” (ผัดผักบุ้งไฟแดง)
  • You can use unsalted stock instead of water for extra flavors.

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  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Easy, Stir fried
  • Method: Stir fried
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: Thai morning glory stir-fried recipe, pad pak boong fai dang, water spinach stir fried, Pad pak boong, Pak Boong Fai Dang