Ong Choi (Ipomoea aquatica)

Ong Choi (Ipomoea aquatica), is a member of the Morning Glory family (Convolvulaceae). The most common varieties are bright green and grow up to 14 inches tall. Ong Choi is of East Indian origin and a member of the Convolvulaceae (morning glory) family. Ong Choi is extremely popular in Southern China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Ong choi in Chinese literally translates as "hollow vegetable". Although Ong Choi is closely related to sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) and convolvulus, it has no relationship with the common spinach.

Other Names

Morning Glory, Water Spinach, Kankun, Kong Xin Cai (Kong Shin Tsai), Chau Gan Choi, Rau Muon, and Swamp Cabbage.

Cooking Methods

Lightly boil, steam, stir-fry with shrimp paste, combined with other greens and used in soups. Ong Choi deteriorates rapidly once picked, so ideally it must always be used very fresh. The leaves can be used whole, or cut into smaller pieces and like ordinary spinach, the stems require slightly longer cooking than the leaves.

Almost all parts of the young plant are eaten, although the shoot tips and younger leaves are preferred. Older stems that are from plants cultivated on dry land, contain considerable fiber and therefore the cultural methods emphasize the production of young succulent tips.

In the West, Ong Choi is treated as ordinary spinach. It is sauteed with butter and garlic, or with bacon, and tossed with a little vinegar and sugar. In contrast, the Chinese will consume this vegetable in a variety of ways such as in soup, batter fried, or raw.

The Cantonese exclusively stir-fry it, with a generous amount of garlic (or garlic shallots) and either white fermented bean curd or fermented shrimp sauce; chilli is commonly added.

Please take a look at our recipes page and don't forget to follow us on our social media sites for new ideas.



For further information please email david@rokewood.co.uk or ring us on (+44) 1945 583 0335.