Skip to Content

Crispy Spinach

Sharing is caring!

This crispy spinach is what you want to make if you love Chinese crispy seaweed.

You know that delicious fried seaweed you get at Chinese takeaways and restaurants? Well this is one of the ways of making it. You can also use the same process to make Chinese crispy seaweed with kale or cabbage. 

I don’t know about you but whenever I go out for Chinese food, crispy spinach (seaweed) has to be on the table. So next time you are planning a Chinese food feast, be sure to get some spinach in and make this too. 

Crispy fried spinach

About this recipe

I learned to make this crispy spinach from a friend back when I was at university. So a long time ago and I’ve been making it regularly ever since.

It is a bit fussy to make, shredding the spinach and all but it’s worth it. You will get something that tastes and looks just like the fried seaweed and Chinese restaurants and for a lot less money.

Working ahead…

This one couldn’t be easier.

All you need is fresh spinach, vegetable oil and perhaps a bit of salt. No, not perhaps. Get some salt as it needs it to be the real deal.

All of the shredding can be done a few days in advance of cooking. It really isn’t difficult as you will see in the photos below.

Storing your crispy fried spinach.

I recommend making exactly as much as you need. Your crispy spinach will stay crispy for a couple of hours and it is best served right out of the hot oil.

If it doesn’t seem crispy enough when you take it out of the oil, just let it rest on paper towels. The paper towels will soak up the excess oil and you will have beautiful crispy spinach to serve.

This does not keep well but I have kept it in an air-tight container for a couple of days and it was almost as good as fresh from the pan. 

Can you freeze crispy spinach.

Not really. I don’t recommend doing that. If you do find yourself with a lot left over, freeze it but you will need to give it a quick flash fry before serving again.

What is the best and fastest way to prepare the spinach?

Stack the leaves in groups of 10 to 20 s seen in the photos below. This will speed up the process and believe it or not, the spinach is easier to shred that way. I usually discard the stems.

Adding the salt.

Once you fry the shredded spinach, place it on paper towels and also pat it dry with a paper towel. This will make the spinach crispier and also soak up any excess oil. 

How much spinach do you need to fry?

You can fry as much as you like in this way. It does take some shredding time but the frying is quick and easy.

Can you use any spinach?

Yes. You can use the baby spinach leaves like I did or use larger spinach leaves. Using larger leaves takes a lot less time.

Step by step photographs

Washed and dried spinach.

Wash and dry you spinach.

Stacked spinach leaves.

To make things easier, stack the spinach leaves.

Thinly slicing the spinach leaves.

Slice the spinach leaves thinly.

Shredded spinach leaves.

I usually discard the stems.

Shred as much spinach as you need. I packed two bowls which weighed about 225g (1 lb.) and the fed my family as a side dish.

Checking the oil heat for frying.

Pour about 500ml (2 cups) of neutral vegetable oil in a wok and heat it up over a high heat. The oil is hot enough when you stick a wooden chop stick or handle in and thousands of bubbles appear on contact.

Spinach frying in the oil

Cook the spinach in small batches of about a handful. It will bubble up when it hits the oil.

The spinach continuing to fry.

The bubbles will stop and the spinach will continue frying.

Fried spinach.

Fry for a minute or two until the spinach becomes crispy and turns a couple of shades darker.

The finished fried spinach drying in paper towels.

Transfer the fried spinach to paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Dry it from the top too.

fried spinach

Your crispy spinach is ready to serve. Enjoy!

Like Chinese food? Try some of these popular Chinese recipes.

  1. General Tso’s Chicken
  2. Crispy Chicken and Broccoli
  3. Salt and Pepper Chicken
  4. Sesame Chicken
  5. Sweet and Sour Chicken
  6. Kung Pao Chicken
  7. Dan Dan Noodles
  8. Orange Chicken
  9. Hainan Chicken
  10. Spicy Chicken Chow Mein
  11. Mongolian Beef
  12. Chinese Crispy Beef
  13. Egg Drop Soup
  14. Spicy Won Ton Soup
  15. Egg Fried Rice
  16. Potstickers
  17. Bam Bam Chicken
  18. Beef in Black Bean Sauce
  19. Chinese Chicken Curry
  20. Black Bean Noodles

Have you tried this crispy spinach recipe? 

If so, please give it a star rating and leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do to. Thank you.

Yield: 2 - 4

How To Make Crispy Fried Spinach

fried spinach
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 250g fresh spinach - Or as much as you like
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and dry your spinach leaves. Remove and stems and shred with a sharp knife. You can see how I did this in the photos above.
  2. Heat your oil in a large wok or pan. Your oil is ready when you stick a wooden chopstick or spatula in and thousands of little bubbles form around it on contact.
  3. Depending on how much you are making, you may need to cook the shredded spinach in batches. I usually cook a large handful of the shredded spinach per batch.
  4. When you first add the spinach, the oil will bubble right up. This is because of the moisture in the spinach leaves. As the spinach cooks, the bubbles will subside. Continue frying for about a minute or two or until the spinach looks crispy and has turned a couple of shades darker.
  5. Transfer the cooked crispy spinach on paper towels. It should crisp right up once out of the oil. Season with a little salt.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 389mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

Did you like this recipe?

Please join me on Facebook where I share all my latest recipes and videos. Just click that Facebook icon on the left and let's get to know each other!


Friday 19th of May 2023

Can you reheat leftover Crispy Fried Spinach. If so, how?

Dan Toombs

Monday 22nd of May 2023

I’ve never tried but I can’t imagine it would re-heat very well but you could give it a go! Dan


Sunday 19th of June 2022

Is spinach shoots out oil like crazy. Is it because of the water in the spinach?

Caroline Toombs

Monday 20th of June 2022

Yes that is the reason. Definitely make sure you dry the spinach well after washing it and that should reduce the splashing. Thanks Dan

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!