Medieval Braised Spring Greens

It’s a long weekend cometh, finally! Have taken some time off work to spend it with the boy because it’s his sixth birthday on 2nd April, and the final one that allows him to take time off from school without it being termed as a truant; his final one before the horrible primary years start.

We brought the boy to Sungei Buloh for a walk early in the morning. It was the dad’s idea to do that because we thought we would be able to see some crocodiles in action. The walk was nice, albeit there being a bit of a weekend crowd, but because the place was big enough, the crowd was slightly more manageable as well.

We managed to catch sight of some interesting swamp creatures – mudskippers, mudcrabs, horseshoe crabs, herons, pondskaters. Disappointingly, there just wasn’t any crocodiles anywhere in sight though. We weren’t alone as we could hear others from amongst the crowd asking the same question – where are the crocodiles? Where??! Isn’t this place supposed to be full of them?

Well, I guess not.

But we still managed some interesting sightings, and the boy got to shake his butts on the suspension bridge at the mid-canopy walk. I thought the walk was good, although the sun was blazing hot. Perhaps not what the boy had in mind when we told him we were bringing him to see crocodiles and a complete disappointment for him since he couldn’t see any… the worse part came for the boy when he accidentally slipped into the dragonfly pod, splashed into the pond, came out all wet and muddy, and got scoldings from his mum and dad whose only intention, really, was to celebrate his birthday with him. He almost had to go home in wet muddy clothing as well. Luckily for him, his bag was waterproof and his extra set of clothes could come to his rescue. So, we were able to go for a nice lunch and gobble up some plates of noodles, and he was able to gulp down his cup of A&W soft drink and gobble up scoops of ice kacang. That, I think, was the highlight of his day.


A tiring weekend calls for a simple recipe, and so I have here a simple medieval recipe from my favourite medieval recipe book – braised spring greens:

Spynoches yfryed. Take spynoches; perboile hem in sethyng water. Take hem up and presse out the water and hew hem in two. Frye hem in oile & do therto powdour douce, & serue forth.

The taste of this spinach is slightly acquired, a sweet rather than savoury version that we are more used to eating. So that even though it’s just spinach with no other ingredients, it tastes very different from our Chinese dishes of spinach. You may refer to Spinach Stir-Fry with Pine Nuts for an alternative savoury (Chinese) style of spinach stir-fry.

I wish for the boy to grow up living simply yet happily, knowing that his parents love him a lot (even though we scold him a lot), with the knowledge that love can help him to overcome all challenges and troubles in life.


  • Spinach: 300g, washed
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Water: 1/3 cup
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Ground blackpepper: to taste
  • Ground nutmeg: a pinch
  • Ground cinnamon: a pinch
  • Brown sugar: 1 tsp


  1. Blanch spinach in boiling water for 5min. Drain and squeeze dry.
  2. Heat oil in wok. Add spinach and water.
  3. Add salt, ground blackpepper, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon and brown sugar.
  4. Simmer till tender.
  5. Serve hot with rice.


  • This recipe was kindly adapted from ‘The Medieval Cookbook’ by Maggie Black.

2 – 3 persons as side dish

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