Foodie Friday: Water Spinach

Water spinach: also known as ong choy; recognizable for its hollow stalks

water spinach

In Mandarin, it’s even called “hollow vegetable.” This plant grows alongside waterways and enjoys moist soil. Although related to the sweet potato family, it’s considered a leafy vegetable because of the way it can be cooked. Water spinach requires little preparation and can be stir-fried with a few cloves of garlic and some salt to taste. It has a high amount of nutrients, including phenolic compounds, which provide antioxidants. The hollow stems add a slight crunch, while the triangle-shaped leaves are tender and sweet.

Fun fact: It’s classified as a “noxious weed” by the FDA.

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  1. I always enjoy these mixed with stir-fry, but I’ve never made them myself. I’m all for antioxidants, though, so bring it on. :)

  2. It’s funny that this plant is part of the sweet potato family! Who would have known? I don’t think I ever ate any. Is it served in Chinese restaurants? I’m sure I would love it since I’m a big veggie fan.

  3. I like any vegetable with a good crunch. And it’s such a lovely dark green. It has to be good for you!

  4. Veronica Roth says

    I sometimes have Goma-Ae, but I think it’s western spinach. Wonder if this is available here. Hmm. will look out for it next time. :D

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