Morning Glory Stir-fry (Pad Pak Boong)

Who likes stir-fried morning glory? 😊 Pad Pak Boong is one of the most eaten dishes in Thailand on a daily basis. It’s easy to prepare, and the simple tastes are delicious. Just about everyone in the country loves pad pak boong!

The really nice part about it is that many people just go find Morning Glory growing in the wild and collect it. They don’t even have to farm it!

Here’s a Stir-Fried Morning Glory video where I talk all about Morning Glory and show you how to cook it at my Instagram account!

OK, let’s gossip about my husband and my daughter for a minute. Hahahaha.

Since I can cook well at home and sometimes better than many local restaurants, our family rarely eats out – except when I get too lazy. The one food that I am angry at them if they order it at a restaurant is stir-fried morning glory. I get mad at them for ordering almost anything that I can make at home much cheaper!

As some of you already know, Morning Glory is very cheap in Thailand and super easy to make. When we are at home and they say even one word about wanting this food, I could cook it up in about 5 minutes.

But still, they ORDER PAD PAK BOONG when we eat out at a restaurant! Ugh! I am so mad because we pay 3 times more than what it costs me to make it myself. And this isn’t even at one of the high-class restaurants in town!

Looking at the ingredients, it is way too simple to charge anyone an expensive price, but this is where the restaurants make their money off us :(.

Ingredients for pad pak boong, stir-fried morning glory.
All the ingredients you need for Pad Pak Boong, including some of our favorite brand-name sauces. ©

Preparation for Stir-fried Morning Glory

In Thai language, this dish is called – ผัดผักบุ้ง. Here’s the recipe for 1 serving of Pad Pak Boong vegetable.

  • Morning Glory Stems – 200g-300g (7-11 oz.), cut.
  • Garlic – 1 tbsp., minced.
  • Chili – 1-2, crushed (optional).
  • Vegetable Oil – 1 tbsp.
  • Thai Fermented Soybeans – 1/2 tsp (optional).
  • Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp.
  • Oyster Sauce – 1 tbsp.

Usually, the fermented soybeans will make your food extra salty. It gives such a unique and special taste that I do add them every time, but I just add a small amount. Remember, every time when you cook, add a little salt to your food. Then add more if you need to.

Managing the salt level of this food is extra important because it can quickly be ruined when one of the ingredients adds too much salt.

I also sometimes accidentally pour too much soy sauce in my stir-fried Morning Glory. Sometimes, you can fix it by rinsing out the sauce and flavoring the food again. Sometimes, it is impossible. It’s so much better to add ingredients slowly and taste test often.

Don’t forget to rinse your mouth between tastes or you won’t know how much salt is there.

That’s why I keep reminding people to add a little at a time. This recipe works with other vegetables like Chinese kale, pumpkin vine, and watercress. 🙂

Stir-fried Morning Glory Cooking Instructions

  1. Break off the roots from the Morning Glory stems.
  2. Cut the Morning Glory into bite-size pieces. Know that it shrinks a lot! We usually go about 4-5″ pieces.
  3. Turn on the burner – low heat – 300F if using electric.
  4. Add oil, and garlic, mix it up, and cook it.
  5. Add chilis, and cook them briefly.
  6. Add the morning glory pile. It will shrink so much. Watch the video I gave you to see how it shrinks.
  7. Add soy sauce on top.
  8. Add Fermented soybean sauce on top. Very little! Super salty!
  9. Add Oyster Sauce. This one can be a couple of tablespoons for the brand I have. Be careful if this also has salt!
  10. Turn up the heat to 1000F.
  11. Mix and cook for a few minutes until significant shrinkage. Then you know it’s done!

Spoon it onto a plate and serve with cooked Thai Jasmine rice for the best experience!

Stir-fried morning glory is my husband’s favorite vegetable. We believe that eating this vegetable a lot will make our eyes look healthy. As we get older, it’s obvious we both need to add much more of this to our diet!

For oyster sauce, I always use “Healthy Boy Brand.” Look at the image above, it’s the bottle on the far left. There is a healthy boy on the label. I like it because it is not salty so I can put a lot if I want to increase the thickness of the juice in any of my stir-fried recipes.

I can close my eyes when I add this oyster sauce and the taste is always perfect! 🙂

If the pan catches on fire, the taste will also be perfect (see Fai Dang variation below). Anyway, don’t burn your kitchen down! :p

Hope you enjoy this yummy Thai Morning Glory recipe!

Variation – Add Shrimp!

I almost always make Pad Pak Boong Sai Goong (adding shrimp) because the shrimp cook just enough and they taste really natural in this recipe. It’s also a way to add some great nutrients to your Pad Pak Boong, including protein and some fat. Our family likes this variation the best!

Pad Pak Boong Moo Sap Variation (pork)

You can make Pad Pak Boong any number of ways. Here’s one that our buddy Darren showed us from a restaurant he likes a lot on the island of Phuket. This one is Pad Pak Boong Moo Sap (with pork).

Pad Pak Boong Moo Sap – Morning Glory with Pork. This is a common variation you can order at any restaurant that serves Pad Pak Boong.

Pad Pak Boong Fai Dang Variation (red fire!)

This one is only a slight variation on the original recipe. I don’t think any extra ingredients are put into the recipe. The difference for Fai Dang Pad Pak Boong is the level of heat used to cook it. You cook it on very high flame so it cooks very fast and has a distinctive smell and taste to it.

Restaurants do it this way when they want to make it special for the customers. I don’t usually do this at home.

Pad Pak Boon Moo Grop Variation (crispy pork)

Pad Pak Boong Moo Grop with pork rind added to the stir-fried morning glory.
Pad Pak Boon Moo Grop variation has crispy fried pork rind added. Many people love this version.

Pad Pak Boong Vegetarian Variation (add tofu)

This is a popular variation for people who don’t eat meat and who want to add some protein and fat to their fried Morning Glory. Tofu tastes great in this one because it takes on the flavor of the various sauces, garlic, and chilis.

Ordering Pad Pak Boong In a Restaurant

The pronunciation is just the same as it looks. Pawd Pawk Boong is maybe a slightly better way to say it. To add shrimp say “sy goong” and to add tofu, say “sy tofu.” The other variations mentioned above are really self-evident, the sound is like the English spelling.

Prices for this dish at.a small food stall on the street in Thailand will range depending on where you get it. You might be able to find it for 50 THB. Probably more like 70-100 THB on an island or in another tourist destination like Krabi.

At a nice restaurant on the beach or on an island you’ll probably pay more like 150 to 200 THB ($5-6 USD). We’ve seen it as high as 250 THB at a big restaurant on an island beach. Adding shrimp can increase the price a lot in such places!

What Are Optimal Growing Conditions for Morning Glory?

Morning Glory (Ipomoea aquatica), also known as water spinach or kang kong, is a tropical plant that grows in wet and humid environments. In Thailand, it is commonly found in waterways, rice paddies, and marshy areas. It can also be grown commercially in floating fields or hydroponic systems.

Morning Glory is a very hardy plant and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. However, it prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It is also important to keep the soil moist, as Morning Glory is a heavy drinker.

Nutritional Info (Morning Glory only)

300 grams of Morning Glory vegetable gives us the following nutrients.

  • .2 g. fat
  • 7.8 g. protein
  • 9.3 g. carbs
  • 339 mg. Sodium
  • 936 mg. Potassium
  • 51% of daily magnesium
  • 378% of daily Vitamin A
  • 273% of daily Vitamin C
  • 15% of daily B6

(Info from

Stir-fried Morning Glory Recipe and Cooking Instruction Video at YouTube

[Image Credit – Pad Pak Boon Moo Sap and Moo Grop from DarrenB3 at YouTube]