95 Sayur Tumis Bayam (spinach)
Lately, we have a kind of spinach addiction. I love this spring veggie. I make for example a spinach salad with vinegar, water, salt, pepper, sugar and oil. But what does Beb Vuyk do with bayam (spinach)? In her chapter Sayur and Soup number 95 sounds delicious: Sayur tumis bayam. Today we eat this crunchy stir-fried spinach dish.
I combine the bayam with Bumbu Rudjak with fish. To connect the two dishes together, I add my favorite salt-loving plant: Samphire or Salicornia. It’s super salty and has a firm texture.
Samphire needs some stir frying, as short as spinach. I half the stock cube that is in Beb Vuyk’s recipe to equal out the amount of salt in this dish because samphire is extremely salty.
This recipe is enough for 2-3 people and is ready in 10 minutes.
Sayur Tumis Bayam (spinach), from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 109.
3/4 kg spinach
3 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 chopped garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon sambal terasi (chili sauce with shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon galangal root powder
1 stock cube
2 tablespoons of oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Wash the spinach, let it drain and cut it into chunks. Rub onions, garlic, chili and galangal together and fry the mixture in the oil. When the onions turn yellow add the spinach with a handful at a time. Stir fry briefly. Add the stock cube and finish the sayur with a spoon full of soy sauce. The spinach should remain bright green and as raw as possible.
I buy already washed spinach in a bag, because it’s less work and the spinach is as good as dry. Too wet spinach makes your tumis watery (soup) and the flavors leak out of the dish.
I add the spinach to the fried paste of onion, garlic, chili and galangal a hand full at the time. The first part will be less crispy than the last hand you add, but that’s okay. The dish will be different in crunchiness every time you take a bite.
The samphire needs about the same time of stir frying as the spinach does. I certainly do not use the whole container, a handful is enough. Salicornia has a strong taste. A crunchy, subtle salty dash through the ‘tumis bayam’ makes it even more delicious.Stir-fry the spinach briefly, otherwise your dish will be snotty. Do not wait too long to serve it, because when you wait, the spinach turns even softer.
Fish and white rice combine really well with this Sayur Tumis Bayam.
Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.