Spinach Salad with Peanut 果仁菠菜Guǒ Rén Bō Cài

Spinach Salad with Peanuts 果仁菠菜Guǒ Rén Bō Cài

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) spring is the season of activity and upward energy, a time of stirring after the cold of winter. Just as the trees and shrubs start budding with the onset of spring, our bodies start awakening. According to tradition, eating the first spring vegetables that sprout from the soil stimulates ‘upward energy’. Spinach is one of the most popular seasonal green vegetables that Chinese folks often cook. Spinach is sweet and cooling. It is believed to have moisturizing properties, and to nourish our liver and blood. Peanuts are believed to be good for the stomach and spleen. Spinach Salad with Peanuts is the perfect springtime food.

Serve: 4 approximately


750g spinach

200g roasted/ fried peanuts*

4 cloves garlic

1-2 dried chili peppers *

2 tbsp light soy sauce

4 tbsp dark vinegar

1 tbsp sugar, or sugar according to taste

1 tsp salt, or salt according to taste

1-2 tsp sesame oil


Vegetable oil

Prepare spinach and peanuts: 

  1. Clean the spinach. Remove any tough stems. Blanch the spinach by bringing water to a boil and adding the spinach once it boils. Then quickly toss the spinach in the boiling water. Just when the leaves start wilting, but are still bright green and barely cooked, drain the spinach in a colander. Then soak it in cold water to stop the cooking preserving the colour (drain and soak again if water becomes too warm). Lightly squeeze the spinach dry and, if you are not serving it immediately, refrigerate it.

  2. Heat up a wok with 1 cup of vegetable oil at low heat. When the oil is hot (you can test it with a wooden chopstick, if bubbles form around the chopstick, the oil is hot enough. Add the peanuts and fry until golden. Take them out of the oil.

  3. Mince the garlic for later use.

Prepare the sauce: 

Mix well: light soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, sugar,  adjusting according to taste.

Combining it all:

  1. Mix peanuts, spinach and sauce.  Add the garlic on top.

  2. Heat about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok at low heat. Add 1-2 dried chili peppers and fry till fragrant and pour the hot oil on the garlic topping.

  3. Mix everything well and serve.

all pictures are from the internet


  1. Peanuts can be roasted in the oven, or in a wok without oil instead of cooking them in oil.

  2. If you prefer, you can use mustard seed oil instead of frying the chili peppers in the oil.

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