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Water Spinach Salad (Nom Rau Muong)

This recipe comes to us from the kitchen of Tracey Lister, Chef, Author & Culinary Tour Host.

Tracey was a regular instructor at the Neff Market Kitchen Cooking School which closed in May 2020.

This is a popular dish from the centre of Vietnam. This is a great example of Vietnamese ingenuity, making use of entire plant and finding a delicious way of preparing the stems which otherwise would be quite tough.



  • 1 bunch morning glory (water spinach)
  • 4 spring onions cut into 4 cm lengths, then sliced into strips
  • 1 handful Vietnamese mint
  • 1 handful mint
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed and cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp fried garlic
  • 1 tbsp fried shallots
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted, plus extra 1 tspn
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, unsalted and roasted, plus 1 extra tspn


  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 ½ tbsp lime juice
  • 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce



Remove the bottom half of the water spinach stem for the salad. You could keep the water spinach leaves for later. Cut the stems into thin strips with a sharp knife or traditional Vietnamese tool and put in iced water which will make them curl. Let sit for ½ hour, then drain and separate the stems to make for easy serving.

For the dressing, whisk together the sugar and lime juice until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the fish sauce and garlic.

Combine the water spinach stems, spring onion, mints, chilli, fried garlic and shallots, sesame seeds and peanuts in a large bowl.

Pour over the dressing and gently toss to combine the ingredients.

Serve on a large platter and sprinkle on the extra sesame seeds and peanuts.




Tracey Lister

Chef, Author & Culinary Tour Host

Tracey first came to Hanoi in Vietnam after 15 years in the Melbourne restaurant scene. She put her extensive hospitality experience to good use at Koto, a grass-roots charity. As the first chef/trainer her contribution transformed disadvantaged young people into sought after hospitality professionals. In April 2008 she opened the Hanoi Cooking Centre, a purpose built cooking school and café. Tracey is acknowledged as an expert in Vietnamese food as evident by her appointment as Executive Chef of the 1,000 years of Hanoi state banquet for 900 dignitaries. Tracey is also the successful author of several Vietnamese cookbooks: Koto, Vietnamese Street Food, Real Vietnamese Cooking, and Made in Vietnam.

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