Garlic Spinach Stir Fry

Get ready to elevate your meal with my irresistible Garlic Spinach Stir Fry recipe! In just 4 minutes, you can whip up this delightful side dish featuring fresh spinach leaves stir-fried with garlic and a hint of salt. It’s not only incredibly easy to make but also a healthy addition to any meal, boasting a light and delicate flavor that pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes!

Lightly salted garlic spinach stir fry served in a side dish bowl topped with Japanese katsuoboshi, side angle.

Why I Love This Recipe

If you’re like me and enjoy easy and healthy vegetable side dishes to complement your meals, then you’ll love my Garlic Spinach Stir Fry recipe! I made sure in just 4 minutes and with 5 simple, all-natural ingredients, you can create a delightful dish bursting with Japanese-inspired flavors. But in contrast to my chilled Korean Spinach Salad and Japanese Spinach Salad dishes, this spinach dish is served hot!

Picture tender spinach wilted to perfection in a wok with oil, employing the same proven cooking method as my Japanese Bacon Spinach Salad recipe, for a burst of savory and garlic goodness. It’s an ideal choice for anyone in search of a simple, light, and delicate vegetable side dish to elevate their meal. Don’t hesitate—give it a try now and savor the deliciousness firsthand!



  • Spinach  freshly washed spinach. Use baby spinach leaves for a more tender dish.
  • Garlic – fresh sliced garlic cloves.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. 
  • Salt  sea salt preferred. 
  • Bonito Flakes – made from shaved Dried Bonito fish. Commonly used to make broth and responsible for giving Japanese cuisine that signature umami flavor.

🥬 Spinach Note

For a more tender dish, opt for Baby Spinach Leaves if possible. Their delicate texture enhances the overall quality of the dish.

Lightly salted garlic spinach stir fry served in a side dish bowl topped with Japanese katsuoboshi, top down shot.

Essential Kitchen Equipment

  • Wok or Deep Large Skillet


☑ Before Getting Started

Before getting started, ensure you have a Large Deep Skillet or Wok on hand for this recipe. Due to the significant reduction in size when cooking spinach, you’ll need to use a substantial amount initially to achieve the desired final quantity.

Step 1 Start by thoroughly washing and trimming the bottom stems from the fresh spinach leaves.

Washed spinach.

🥬 Spinach Preparation Pro Tip

To ensure your spinach is clean and free of any dirt or debris, it’s a good idea to Soak the Leaves in Water before using them.

Step 2 Next, heat a generous amount of cooking oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Once the oil is sizzling hot, add the spinach, and let it cook for about 30 seconds.

Spinach leaves in a wok.

Step 3 Then, introduce the minced garlic and a pinch of salt, continuing to cook for an additional 30 to 60 seconds until the spinach becomes beautifully wilted.

Stir fry spinach in a wok.

🥢 Garnishing Pro Tip

To elevate the flavor profile of your dish, add optional Bonito Flakes as a garnish for an extra layer of umami.

Pairing Recommendations

This recipe pairs perfectly with Japanese-style grilled fish like Seared Hamachi Yellowtail or Japanese Yellowtail Hamachi Collar. It also goes well with delicate soups such as Japanese Meatball Soup. Don’t forget to serve it with your favorite rice.

Lightly salted garlic spinach stir fry served in a side dish bowl topped with Japanese katsuoboshi, side angle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How healthy is spinach?

Spinach is highly nutritious, offering a multitude of health benefits. It's low in calories but packed with essential vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin C, crucial for immune health and skin vitality. Additionally, spinach provides important minerals such as potassium and calcium, which are necessary for bone health. Its high fiber content supports digestive regularity, while antioxidants help combat free radicals, contributing to overall well-being.

How can I ensure the spinach doesn't become overcooked?

Once the spinach has a wet, shiny appearance, it's done cooking. This indicates that it's wilted to perfection and ready to be served.

Is this recipe suitable for vegetarians or vegans?

Simply omit the optional bonito flakes, and you'll have a delicious vegetarian or vegan dish.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will stay fresh for 3-5 days.

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Watch How To Make It


Lightly salted garlic spinach stir fry served in a side dish bowl topped with Japanese katsuoboshi, side angle.

Garlic Spinach Stir Fry

Learn how to make a delicious stir fry spinach recipe packed with Asian-inspired flavors. Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, this dish is easy to make and pairs well with a variety of main courses.
4.59 from 12 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: stir fry spinach
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 1
Print Recipe
Calories: 158kcal


  • 4-5 Cups Spinach Leaves
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Neutral Cooking Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Bonito Flakes optional topping


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for garlic spinach stir fry.
  • Prepare, cut and wash spinach as needed.
    Washed spinach.
  • Finely mince garlic and set aside.
    Minced garlic.
  • In a large skillet or wok, add neutral cooking oil and bring up to heat on high. Once the oil is preheated, add spinach and cook for 30 seconds while continuously mixing.
    Spinach leaves in a wok.
  • After 30 seconds, add garlic and salt, mix/stir until spinach are fully cooked, about 30 - 60 seconds. Top with optional bonito flakes and serve hot.
    Stir fry spinach in a wok.


Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 670mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 11252IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 3mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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