Chinese Spinach Soup (上汤菠菜)


Chinese Spinach Soup

At 92 years old, Kong Kong (my paternal grandfather) is considered fit and healthy for someone his age. “It’s Pharmaton that keeps me so healthy” he will always remind us grandkids and gifting us with bottles of Pharmaton (multivitamin health supplement) during every Chinese New Year. Mama said we should contact the company as he will make the best Pharmaton ambassador 🙂 Sometimes we grandkids or even my uncles & aunts would consider him naggy.. kept repeating the same story or question, or just call to ask if we have eaten. Well The things we took for granted..

Kong kong in 2010

Kong Kong in 2010

But ever since AhMa (my paternal grandmother) passed away one year ago, Kong Kong changed but coping ok. Who wouldn’t be, if your partner for 70 years has passed on. They have gone through some hard times together when they flea China.. I’ve written the story is here. His health deteriorate and it has affected his eyesight and hearing. I simply cannot imagine what’s it like living in the world without seeing and hearing.

Despite all the family feuds and disagreements, all that doesn’t matter anymore. Being so far away, the least I could do for Kong Kong is to  him to KL to get a new hearing aid fixed. While he stayed a few days with me while waiting for the new equipment to be ready, I feel priviledged to have spent this short time with him. It’s hard to believe or comprehend how I can patiently serve & take care of him yet I am impatient with mama. I prepared the food that he can eat, make sure everything is ok for him before getting on with work. Even though he’s a grown man, taking care of somebody else is a new experience for me. Even though it’s a short few days, I have a new sense of respect for mothers and caregivers who give unconditionally to their loved ones.

Chinese Spinach Soup

As Kong Kong no longer have teeth, all the dishes has to be cooked really soft or mushy. Chinese Spinach Soup is one dishes he can easily eat, he is a soup lover and the chinese spinach is cooked until very tender to swallow easily. This soup is quite common in Chinese food stalls or restaurants. I love this dish and I love all the different versions of it – those with clear broth, with or without wolfberries & century egg, and also those with thicker broth that usually comes with salted eggs as well. For this recipe, I used the red chinese spinach with dried anchovies.

Other Chinese Spinach Recipes:
Palak Paneer (Spinach in Cottage Cheese)
Chinese Spinach Porridge

5.0 from 3 reviews
Chinese Spinach Soup (上汤菠菜)
  • 250g Chinese Spinach - ends trimmed, separate stems and leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Dry Anchovies - rinsed and pat dry
  • 3 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic - peeled & sliced thinly
  • 10g of Chicken Fillet - sliced thinly (optional)
  • 200ml Water
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat oil, lightly fry dry anchovies till crispy (about 3 minutes) and set aside.
  2. Using remaining oil in wok, add garlic slices and chicken fillet, stir fry till garlic is slightly browned. Add spinach stems and stir fry about a minute or so. Then add spinach leaves and stir fry till all the leaves are wilted.
  3. Add water, bring to a quick boil and simmer for about a minute.
  4. Serve immediately and top with the fried dry anchovies
Recipe variations / additional ingredients: - ½ to 1 century egg, yolk portion cut to smaller pieces - If you do not like century eggs, you can substitute with wolfberries instead. Soak 1 tsp of wolfberries in water till they are puffy. - You can add all types of ingredients to jazz up the dish - dried shrimp, dried scallops or mushrooms.


  1. At last I found my favourite chinese recipe thank God!! Surely i’m gonna ask my mum to prepare this recipe tonight 🙂 Thanks for your post… Keep rockinggg…. 😉

  2. Shannon, I felt a bit emotional reading about your Kong Kong. My Kong Kong (maternal side and paternal side) are both no longer with us. I am closer to my maternal side but due to my work commitments, I did not spend much time with my Kong Kong. I do have regrets and I am glad that you still have your Kong Kong around. Your spinach soup is simple yet tasty and very nutritious.

  3. I’m new to your site….I’m tearing up while reading your story with your Kong Kong. That reminds me of my Grandma who lives in Hong Kong (grandpa passed away a few years ago).

    I wish so much I live closer to my AhMa as her health is getting worse lately. It’s always nice to spend with with family, isn’t it. 🙂 I wish your Kong Kong good health and stay strong.

    By the way, I love this Spinach Soup you prepared, so perfect for anyone in the family. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Amy Tong recently posted..Valentine’s Day Dinner IdeasMy Profile

  4. I can’t even imagine how difficult it can be loosing a loved one after 70 years together, truly heartbreaking.
    This looks a great soup and love how quickly it is made. Happy weekend to you 🙂
    Gourmantine recently posted..Dessert for breakfastMy Profile

  5. That’s bayam, right? I like!!! Oh? Pharmaton’s so good? Hmmm…most go and grab a bottle quickly then.
    suituapui recently posted..It’s your turn…My Profile

  6. 92 years old and 70 years of marriage! That’s just something you don’t hear of anymore. One can only imagine what your grandfather has seen and experienced in that many years. I’m so glad you got to spend some time with him. I’m sure that is time that you will remember for a lifetime. What a nice little soup you made for him. I’m sure he found it quite of change from his normal eating because if you made it, it had to be delicious!
    mjskit recently posted..Black-eyed Pea Chipotle DipMy Profile

  7. I know the feeling shannon, i had to take care of my sick MIL once for 6 months when i just gave birth to my first. Looking back, wah I dont know how i coped with it. I love this red spinach soup too, my son always so fascinated as to why the soup is red.
    Sharon @ Feats of Feasts recently posted..Broccoli, Bacon and Mushroom QuicheMy Profile

    • thanks for reading my post and sorry for late reply. I can’t imagine how you manage taking care of your MIL and your newborn, but you have done it and it should be easy next time something like that happen again.

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