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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ong Choy with preserved Bean Curd Sauce

Ong Choy (aka – Ipomoea aquatica, Kung Choy, Morning Glory, Water Spinach, Swamp Cabbage etc.) is originated from East Indian, this type of vegetable fall under the member of the Convolvulaceae (morning glory) family. Their different varieties of Ong Choy; some grow in water and some grow in soil. The most common varieties are bright green and grow up to 14 inches tall. This type of vegetable is hollow in the middle; and because it’s hollow in the middle, the Asian call it “Empty Heart Vegetable”. Ong Choy is extremely popular in Southern China, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Raw Ong Choy
There are many ways to cook Ong Choy. In SouthEast Asia, Ong Choy is usually stir-fried with shrimp paste, ginger and garlic. Another way of eating this is to have it stir-fry with preserved bean curd sauce. The above two styles of cooking are very popular and common in a Asia. You can get almost evey restuarant as long as they are in season. The favor is quite strong for the stir-fried Ong Choy with shrimp paste dish, not too many people can stand the strong aroma. Mainly Chinese like this dish the most and like to cook it at home. Some people like it just plain stir-fry with garlic and ginger; this cooking method create a lighter favor. The vegetable itself is tasteless; it’s all depending on which sauce and  how you cook it to enhance different favours.  The Vietnamese likes to eat them raw; they shredded the Ong Choy in thin slices and put them in Seafood Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu) as a vegetable add-on.
Ong Choy with preserved Bean Curd Sauce

You can buy Ong Choy in any Asian Market and the price is usually on a higher end comparing to the common vegetables (ie; Bok Choy). In the west, the modern chief likes to eat this like spinach with sautéed butter and garlic or with bacon. For my family, I like to eat this stir-fry either with shrimp paste or with preserved bean curd sauce. 

**Lala’s recipe:

Ingredient: (serving for 4)

  •     1 bunch of On Choy (washed and cut in slice to approx.4 inches long)
  •     ½ clove of garlic (diced)
  •     ¼ cup of preserved bean curd (4 cubes - mashed)
  •     1 tsp of salt
  •     1 tbsp of sugar
  •     1 pinch of black pepper
  •     ½ tbsp of fish sauce
  •     2 tbsp of olive oil

Bring the Ong Choy to boil in a separate pot. Drained out the water completely, make sure there is no extra water trap in the Ong Choy. Pan fried the garlic in olive oil until sizzling. Mash the preserved bean curd with the sugar. Turn the heat to medium and put the Ong Choy in the wok and slightly stir-fried and mixed the sauce and the Ong Choy together. This must be cook in medium heat or the vegetable will burn. The cooking time for this dish is approx. 20 minutes. 

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