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Kangkong By Greg Schreiber

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What is Kangkong Also called “water spinach” by english speakers It is now abundant in many Southeast Asian countries An aquatic plant, meaning it grows in water, much like rice Stems can grow up to 10 feet long Introduced in the Southern US, but was quickly classified as a weed due to its rapid growth

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Culinary Uses In Indonesia and Malaysia it is fried in combination with various spices and served simply as a vegetable It is used in many Thai dishes as well, such as spring rolls, after it has been deep fried. It is also a staple salad vegetable of the poor in much of Southeast Asia

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Medicinal Properties Its high iron content makes it excellent for sufferers of anemia High levels of the S-Methylmethionine, also known as “Vitamin U” (not a real vitamin) is helpful for an array of gastrointestinal problems Some say Kangkong also has an insulin-like property

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A Brief History of Kangkong Most likely originated west of Southeast Asia, in India perhaps Almost every country has a different name for it, for example Thailand calls it phakbung, and in Vietnam it is rau mu[oos]ng

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Symbolism The Chinese tradition advises against eating it as a staple food since doing so will make one hollow like the stems of the plant. Though this probably comes from the fact that it has less nutritional value than rice, so the people were encouraged to eat that instead. The old are also advised against eating it for the same reason, lack of nutrition as compared to rice.