Chinese Spinach Soup (Amaranth Soup)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Soft and smooth spinach cooked in a savory dried anchovies stock. The addition of salted egg and century egg takes it up a notch!
Recipe type: Quick Soup Recipe
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4
  • 1 small bunch of Chinese spinach
  • 50 g dried ikan bilis (dried anchovies) - rinsed and drained
  • 1 handful of small ikan bilis (optional for garnish)
  • 4 cloves garlic - skin removed and lightly smashed
  • 1 salted egg (cooked and diced)
  • 1 century egg - (diced)
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ tbsp cooking oil
  1. Prepare spinach. Cut off roots. Peel away some of the thin fibrous layer covering the entire stem. Cut the spinach into 3 inch length. Wash a few times to remove all traces of dirt till water is clear. Drain and set aside. Cutting spinach
  2. Prepare soup stock. Heat up oil in a soup pot or wok. Fry garlic till fragrant. Don't let get them burnt. Add dried anchovies and water. Ikan bilis stock
  3. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. (Optional step: While the stock is simmering, fry small dried anchovies till crispy in a small pan. This is for the garnish.) Remove dried anchovies from soup with a slotted spoon. Leave the garlic in the soup. Bring the soup to a boil again.
  4. Add spinach, salted egg and century egg. Stir gently and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes till the spinach is tender. Don't overcook or the spinach will be overly soft. Taste and add a pinch of salt if necessary. Garnish with crispy fried anchovies and serve hot.
Cooking Notes
1. Any type of Chinese spinach may be used for this recipe - sharp, round, red or baby spinach.
2. Use the smaller ikan bilis from Pangkor, Malaysia if you want to fry them for garnishing. They are tastier and sweeter compared to the larger variety.
3. If you can't find dried anchovies where you live, substitute with chicken stock. For homemade chicken stock, season the soup to taste with salt or light soy sauce.
4. The preparation time can overlap into the cooking time. Cook the salted egg while prepping the spinach and simmering the dried anchovies stock.
Recipe by Souper Diaries at