Fan Shu Ye or Sweet Potato Leaves (sometimes also known as "yam leaves") stir fry is considered a "poor man's food" because they are usually easy to grow in the backyard and sprout rapidly to give an abundant yield to cook a huge serving of vegetable dish for the family.
The young leaves of the humble sweet potato are usually tender. As for the stalks, break gently and peel the fibrous outer "skin" for a crunchier texture.
The base of each stalk is usually thick and not as palatable especially for children and older folks. Do not discard them. Keep in a moist place and wait for roots to grow. Then plant them in a large terracotta pot or in the garden. Whenever you need to cook sweet potato leaves, just cut the younger leaves and shoots. New shoots will grow no sooner.
After washing and draining the leaves. Prepare the ingredients for stir fry.
The ingredients for a basic recipe are garlic cloves (chopped), cooking oil, 1/2 tsp of soy sauce. Fry the garlic in oil till fragrant, add sweet potato leaves, stir fry for 1 minute and add seasoning.
Sweet potato leaves go well with different types of sauces. The following are some suggestions that are commonly used for home cooking.
Variation 1 : Belachan Sauce
Pound fresh chilli (from 2 birds eye chillies)
Thumb size Malaysian belachan (shrimp paste mashed and toasted)
Dried shrimp (1 TBS washed & drained)
Fish sauce (1 tsp)
* Mix belachan with
* Just heat up cooking oil, fry garlic, dried shrimp,
Variation 2 : Nonya Coconut Milk Recipe
As in the above recipe (omit belachan)
Add one cup of coconut milk (not cream) after a quick fry of the vegetables.
Turn off heat when the gravy boils shortly.
Variation 2 : Salty Yellow Bean Sauce
Fry garlic in oil heated oil (not too hot or else it gets burnt and char easily). Add lightly mashed salty yellow beans (1 TBS). Put in the vegetables and give it a few quick swirls and toss. Add brown sugar according to taste.
Variation 4 : Oyster Sauce
Heat up oil and fry garlic. Stir fry the vegetable in medium heat.
Once the vegetable is cooked, add oyster sauce.
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