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Introducing Kangkong (aka Water Spinach)
I found and fell in love with a new vegetable recently. It’s commonly known as Kangkong. I’ve seen it at the markets and in Asian grocers, but I’ve never actually tried it – until recently that is.
I was on the hunt for different greens to add to our green smoothies and so I bought this huge bunch of Kangkong (or water spinach) from an Asian lady at the markets and tried it. I’ve used it both raw in a smoothie and cooked and I must say that it’s fast becoming one of my favourite greens!
Kangkong (scientific name: Ipomoea aquatica) is also known as:
- Water spinach (English)
- River spinach
- Water morning glory
- Water convolvulus
- Chinese spinach
- Swamp cabbage
Kangkong is used medicinally in many parts of Asia. It is used to treat liver problems, diabetes in pregnancy, anemia and more. You can read more about the medicinal uses of Kangkong by visiting this site and this site.
How to cook Kangkong
So far I’ve used this beautiful veggie by blending in smoothies which it’s mild flavour and lack of stringiness, makes it very suitable for.
I’ve used the leaves in a salad which again, it is very suited to and I’ve used it in stir fries. Yum!
But I thought I’d hunt down some recipes for future reference, and because I know that if you’re reading this, you’re probably going to be looking for inspiration. Right?
So first here’s a link to a wiki on the basics of how to cook Kangkung.
And here’s some really yummy sounding…
- Lemongrass, tofu and chilli kangkong
- Adobong Kangkong
- Filipino style stir fried Kangkong
- Sambal Kangkong
Kangkong is full of vitamins and minerals. As you can see in the table below, it’s high in magnesium and zinc, and low in copper, which suits me (with pyrrole disorder) and of course, many other people, perfectly.
Nutrients – Kangkong (Water Spinach – raw)
Nutritional information data source: USDA National Nutrient Database
Note: The figures that I’ve included in the table above for Kangkong have been taken from a couple of different sources which I’ve listed in the box at the bottom of this page. It was actually really difficult to find reliable sources of information about the nutrients in this plant and even though one of those sources says that the information in his table comes from the USDA nutrition database, I couldn’t find it there. So I’m not really certain of where those figures have come from. So I’ve used a few numbers from his table, and pulled the rest from the study that I’ve referenced. So I did my best and if anyone finds a better source, let me know!To wind this up, I think you could basically use Kangkong anywhere that you would use any other variety of spinach. It’s really tasty and nutritious, easy to digest and it’s something a bit different. So next time you’re passing your Asian grocer, pop in, grab some and give it a go and if you’re keen, why not try growing some at home?
Eat real 🙂