To prepare for the dish, water spinach is blanched briefly to maintain its crispness while removing bitterness.
After blanching, it is then chilled in ice water to preserve its green colour. Once cooled, it is combined with other ingredients such as Vietnamese coriander and mint, roasted peanuts, and sometimes shrimp or beef for added protein.
The salad is typically dressed with a well-balanced mixture of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chili.
This dressing infuses the water spinach and accompanying ingredients with a sweet and slightly spicy flavour.
For a savoury pairing, the cook often adds stir-fried beef to the salad. The salad’s refreshing taste makes it a popular choice, especially during the hot summer months when light dishes are preferred.