Monday, July 21, 2008

Swamp Cabbage

Swamp cabbage - sounds kind of gross doesn't it? Well thankfully there are a lot of different names for it - so if you are trying to get the kids (or your spouse) to eat it you might want to call it water spinach or ong choy.

Ong choy grows in water or wet soil and has hollow stems that allows it to float on water.

From Wikipedia: "...(ong choy) has also been introduced to United States of America where its high growth rate caused it to become an environmental problem, especially in Florida and Texas. It has been officially designated by the USDA as a "noxious weed." Despite this ominous label, the plant is not in any way harmful when consumed ("noxious" is, in this context, a legal term denoting the plant's harmfulness to native plants). In fact, the plant is similar to spinach in its nutritional benefits."

I have to admit after reading about ong choy A.K.A. swamp cabbage, and seeing it referred to as a "noxious weed" and reading that you ought not to eat it raw b/c it can transmit parasites - I had second thoughts about trying it. But being pretty confident that whatever might be in it would be killed during the frying pan method - I went ahead. I did make sure I told the girl not to eat any raw as she loves to snatch pieces of lettuce or spinach that has just been washed.

I first fried up some onion and garlic and then added the ong choy. I sprinkled on some rice vinegar, soy sauce and ground red pepper. I thought it was better than real spinach...the kids were not enthusiastic about it...though the addition of the red pepper and onion might have turned them off.

It was a pretty huge batch of water spinach that I started out with but it all cooked down to about one or two cup fulls.


TheSaxonHus said...

The alternate names do not help at all. I'll pass, thanks.

Heather said...

Need to check this out--always interested in edible weeds. :)

CanadianGrandma said...

I guess if I were starving I would eat it!

katiez said...

So that's what swamp cabbage is! I would have no problem eating it! But I love greens of any sort.