The tender shoots, leaves, and stems of this vegetable plant are grown as a highly nutritious food; delicious either raw or cooked. In the Philippines, the tender shoots are cut into segments and cooked, together with the leaves, in fish and meat stews. It may also be eaten alone, sautéed in cooking oil, onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and bouillon cube. As an appetizer, the leaves are coated in a flour-based batter and fried until crisp, similar to Japanese tempura. The hollow stems can also be cooked on their own as a crunchy side dish.
River spinach is considered a tonic. Containing several vitamins, including A, B, E, C, and “U” (S-methyl-methionine), it is used to treat stomach and intestinal disorders. Store refrigerated in a plastic bag, and use within -3 days of purchase.
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(This article was originally published on 031017 in Issue 4 of the EBG Newsletter.)