Morning glory vegetables, a staple in Vietnamese cuisine, elevate the culinary experience for anyone enjoying a Vietnam travel adventure. They are a must-try in various Vietnamese dishes, contributing to the vibrant and diverse tapestry of Vietnamese food. Read this article to discover all about this vegetable, from morning glory plant seeds to some delicious recipes!
1. What is morning glory vegetable?
Morning glory vegetable, or water spinach, is a leafy green vegetable belonging to the morning glory plant family, commonly grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Among the Vietnamese vegetables, many people favor morning glory due to its delightful texture and versatility. It typically grows horizontally on the ground with hollow and thick stems. The triangular-shaped leaves are pointed, and its flowers are usually white or purple-pink. One round pod usually contains four morning glory plant seeds.
There are two types of Vietnamese morning glory vegetables:
- White morning glory: Small in size and often planted directly into the soil without requiring much watering.
- Purple morning glory: This type has red-ish stems, is larger in size, and appears more succulent. Purple morning glory is often grown or naturally sprouts in places with abundant water and high humidity.
2. How nutritious is the morning glory vegetable?
Is morning glory healthy for people? The answer is yes because it has low calories (only 18 calories per 100 grams) but high nutritional value, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, protein, and other nutrients. Some morning glory vegetable benefits for health include providing iron to the body, aiding in the treatment of constipation, benefiting the eyes due to the presence of vitamin A, limiting the growth of cancer cells, and boosting the immune system.
3. Vietnamese dishes from morning glory vegetable
Vietnamese morning glory vegetable plants can be prepared into various delicious and simple dishes that anyone can master.
3.1. Stir-fried morning glory vegetable with garlic (rau muong xao toi)
Vietnamese stir-fried morning glory with garlic is a familiar dish in Vietnamese meals, featuring the aroma of garlic and the crispy texture of morning glory, making it a delightful accompaniment to rice.
Ingredients: morning glory, garlic, oyster sauce, cooking oil, salt
- Prepare the ingredients: Remove the roots and old leaves of morning glory, cut them into bite-sized pieces, soak them in salted water, wash, and drain. Peel and crush the garlic.
- Heat a pan, add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, add the garlic, and stir until fragrant. Then, add the morning glory and cook thoroughly on high heat. Add a splash of water and continue stir-frying for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
- Season the dish with salt and oyster sauce, then stir until well combined. Adjust the seasoning to taste, turn off the heat, and enjoy.
3.2. Boiled morning glory vegetable (rau muong luoc)
Boiled morning glory is a simple and refreshing dish, frequently present in Vietnamese summer meals.
Ingredients: morning glory, water, salt
- Prepare the ingredients: Trim the morning glory, remove the roots and old leaves, and then cut it into bite-sized pieces. Soak in salted water, wash, and drain.
- Boil 700 milliliters of water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Once the water boils, add the vegetables and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the vegetables to a plate for serving.
3.3. Morning glory soup with dried shrimp (canh rau muong tom kho)
Dried shrimp morning glory soup is a delicious dish comprising crispy vegetables, perfectly complemented by the sweet broth from dried shrimp.
Ingredients: morning glory, dried shrimp, shallots, cooking oil, salt, fish sauce
How to cook morning glory vegetable recipe:
- Prepare the ingredients: Remove the roots and old leaves of the vegetables, then cut them into bite-sized pieces. Soak in salted water, wash, and drain. Soak the dried shrimp in warm water to soften them before crushing them. Peel and slice the shallots.
- Heat a pan, and add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced shallots and stir until fragrant. Then, add the crushed dried shrimp and stir evenly.
- Pour in 1 liter of water, then cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Add the morning glory and cook until the vegetables are tender. Season with fish sauce and salt to taste, then turn off the heat and enjoy.
3.4. Morning glory vegetable salad (goi rau muong)
Crispy morning glory salad, combined with the sweet and sour flavors from various spices, is a refreshing dish that you cannot stop enjoying after trying.
Ingredients: morning glory, pre-roasted peanuts, lime, chili, garlic, salt, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar
- Prepare the ingredients: Remove the roots and old leaves of the vegetables, then cut them into bite-sized pieces. Soak in salted water, wash, and drain. Rinse the chili and garlic, peel the garlic, and finely chop both. Crush the pre-roasted peanuts.
- Quickly blanch the morning glory in boiling water, then soak it in ice water for 10 minutes to maintain its crispiness.
- Prepare the salad dressing: In a bowl, mix lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and chili according to taste. Stir well to blend the flavors.
- Toss the blanched vegetables with the dressing, add crushed peanuts, and mix well. Enjoy the salad.
3.5. Pickled morning glory vegetable (rau muong muoi chua)
Pickled morning glory is a popular dish among various types of Vietnamese pickled vegetables. It has a simple sweet and sour taste and is a side dish with a crispy, enticing texture, perfect for complementing other main dishes.
Ingredients: morning glory, chili, garlic, shallots, salt, sugar, vinegar
- Prepare the ingredients: Remove the leaves from the water spinach, leaving only the stems. Cut the stems into bite-sized pieces, soak in salted water, wash, and drain. Peel and thinly slice the shallots and garlic.
- Blanch the vegetables quickly in boiling water, then soak them in ice water for 10 minutes to maintain their crispiness.
- Boil 500 milliliters of water. Add salt, sugar, and vinegar to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, let it cool, then add sliced shallots, garlic, and chili.
- Pour the prepared liquid over the morning glory in a jar. Seal the jar tightly, let it soak for about 3-4 days, and then it is ready to be served.
3.6. Morning glory vegetable porridge (chao rau muong)
Morning glory porridge with chicken breast, shrimp, or pork is a nutritious and delicious dish suitable for children and those who are feeling unwell.
Ingredients: morning glory, white porridge, meat of your choice (chicken breast, shrimp, beef, pork), seasonings, olive oil
- Prepare the ingredients: Remove the roots and old leaves of the morning glory, soak them in salted water, and then cut them into small pieces. Clean and finely chop the meat.
- Heat a pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sauté the meat until cooked evenly.
- Add the pre-cooked white porridge and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the morning glory and cook until the vegetables are tender. Season to taste, stir well, turn off the heat, and enjoy.
3.7. Morning glory vegetable hotpot with crab (lau ghe rau muong)
Morning glory hotpot with crab is a unique and simple hotpot with a rich and sweet taste from the crabs, yet still light and refreshing.
Ingredients: morning glory, crabs, tomatoes, fried garlic, fried shallots, minced ginger, bone broth, fish sauce, satay, sugar, and salt
- Prepare the ingredients: Clean the crabs thoroughly, carefully separate the meat and the shells, and drain them in a basket. Trim the morning glory, remove the old leaves, soak in salted water, wash, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Clean and cut the tomatoes.
- Prepare the broth: Heat a pot, add fried garlic, shallots, and tomatoes, then sauté evenly. Add the bone broth, season with sugar, salt, fish sauce, and satay according to taste, and bring to a boil.
- Add the crabs to the broth and cook for 10-15 minutes. Then, add minced ginger and morning glory to the pot, simmer for 5 minutes, and it is ready to be served and enjoyed.
While in Vietnam, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the unique cuisine at famous tourist destinations such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long, in addition to enjoying delicious morning glory vegetable dishes.
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Morning glory vegetable stands as a symbol of culinary excellence in Vietnamese cuisine. Its crisp stems, vibrant leaves, and rich nutritional content make it a versatile and beloved ingredient. Whether enjoyed in stir-fries, soups, or salads, morning glory continues to captivate palates with its unique flavor and wholesome attributes. Embraced across Vietnam, this vegetable adds a touch of freshness and health to the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese gastronomy.