Kong Xin Cai 空心菜 (Water Spinach)
Kong Xin Cai 空心菜 (Water Spinach). This vegetable is most commonly eaten by East and Southeast Asian. It is semiaquatic tropical plant found throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It has long, jointed and hollow stems, which allow the vines to float on water or creep across muddy ground.
The leaves have a very pleasant, mild, sweet flavor and a slightly slippery texture, which contrast when cooked with the crispness of the stems. Like many other leafy vegetables, water spinach’s leaves are very nutritious, being rich in vitamins and minerals. They are also a mild laxative. Water spinach deteriorates rapidly once picked, so if possible consumed immediately (Dept. of Environment and Primary Industries). For more information regarding water spinach please visit the following website: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/horticulture/vegetables/vegetables-a-z/water-spinach-kangkong
There are numerous ways to cook this vegetables. In Southern China, it is exclusively stir fry, the stir fry is quick and simple, either plain or with slices of garlic. In Southeast Asia, this vegetables is commonly stir fry with chili pepper, garlic, ginger and other spices. You can put it in soup, make salads out of it, put it in curries etc.
Ingredients: (2-4 serving)
Water Spinach: 1 lb
Rice Wine (Sake or some kind of wine fermented from rice): 1 tbsp
Vegetable Oil: 3 tbsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Water or Chicken stock: 2 tbsp
Sesame Oil: 1 tsp
Fish Sauce: 1 1/2 tbsp
Substitute for Fish Sauce:
Red Bean Curd
Lard or pork fat
Step 1: Break the Water Spinach into 3-4 sections if it is long.
Step 2: Wash 2-3 times to remove dirt.
Step 3: Slice 6-7 cloves of fresh Garlic.
Step 4: Preheat a large wok or pan until it is hot.
Step 5: Add in 3 tbsp of Oil or Lard and add in the garlic with the fire on low so that it does not burn the garlic.
Step 6: Cook the Garlic till fragrant then add in the Water Spinach and cook on high heat.
Step 7: Stir fry until it begins to wilt, then add in Shao Xing Rice Wine or Sake, Fish Sauce (Substitutions), Sugar and Water or Vegetable Stock/Chicken Stock. Continue to stir fry for about a minute or so.
Step 8: Plate!