• Scientific name: Ipomoea aquatica
  • English: Water Spinach, Water Morning Glory, Water Convolvulus
  • Bahasa melayu/Tagalog: Kangkong, kangkung
  • Tiếng Việt: Rau muống
  • ภาษาไทย : phak bung ผักบุ้ง
  • 中文: 空心菜

A very common vegetable in Southeast Asia. In Thailand, it is often translated into ‘water morning glory’ or ‘water spinach’. In Chinese, the name translated into ‘hollow vegetable’ referring to the hollow stems, which incidentally is the reason why this vegetable tastes so good with great sauces.

When I was young, my mother told me that one should never pluck these free-growing plants from anywhere. That is because leeches tend to hide in their hollow stems, and if the vegetables were not well cooked. These leeches continue to live inside you and can grow up to more than 10 centimetres by sucking your blood from the inside!

How do you cook this? Try my stir-fried belachan kangkong, a great-tasting Malay dish!