Just like many affectionate parents who tend to shower us with heaps of goods the moments we are about to bid farewell, my mother-in-laws packed some sweet potato leaves to be brought back with us to Penang sometimes ago when we back to Negeri Sembilan. There're aplenty of homegrown sweet potato leaves by a close relative which just been freshly plucked and partially ended up in our car. Without mulling the next morning, sweet potato leaves were dimidiated, half portion was stir-fried with taucheo (fermented yellow soybean sauce or taucu, 豆酱) and sliced red chilli peppers (cayenne pepper), and the other half stored back into the fridge to be cooked with sambal belachan (stinky but luscious Malaysian shrimp paste) later.
This green veggie, with leaves that wilt as easily as spinach while the stems retain a nice crisp-tender bite, are perfectly paired with salty and savory taucheo, with sliced red chilli peppers impart a hint of spiciness. Though the ingredients may seem too simple, it made a quick satisfying meal and a great companion to go with fluffy steamed rice. Whilst oftentimes I like to imagine myself lavishing in exotic or elaborate dishes, sometimes I just like my dish to be plain, easy-to-prepare and homey.
For health-conscious, nutrition facts of sweet potato leaves may interest you. This simple vegetable is packed with nutrition, low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of vitamin E, niacin and phosphorus and also very rich in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Sweet potato leaves, according to Chinese belief, replenish blood and as a diabetes diet. It is also suitable to those who embrace the vegetarian lifestyle as potato leaves is the only vegetable with Iodine, a common substance found in seafood.
Here's the easy recipe for stir-fried sweet potato leaves with taucheo. (番薯叶炒豆酱与红辣椒)
Some sweet potato leaves (番薯叶), washed, trimmed and drained
2 1/2 tbsp of taucheo (fermented yellow soybean sauce or taucu, 豆酱)
1 red chilli pepper (cayenne pepper, 红辣椒), deseeded and sliced thinly
2 pips of garlic, skin removed and minced
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet, saute the minced garlic until it turns slightly brown. Add in potato leaves and turn to high flame, do a quick and brisk stir, then add in sliced red chilli pepper (cayenne pepper) and taucheo (fermented yellow soybean sauce). Stir well to mix. Sprinkle some water to keep it moist. Turn off the flame after 2-3 minutes and serve hot with steamed rice. No need season with salt or soy sauce as the taucheo itself is salty enough to flavor the dish.