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Sep 24, 2006 10:43 PM

Ong Choy

First time I've seen it at our farmers' market. Bought a bunch. Now how to prep? Last time I was told to use fermented tofu. Any suggestions?

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  1. Cook it with a salted duck egg or with lots of garlic.

    1. Ong choy is also known as Chinese water spinach, kang kung and pak boong. If you do a google search on these, you'll find many Asian recipes.

      The simplest way to cook this is to rinse the greens well, cut into 2-3" sections and stir fry with a few cloves of crushed garlic, sprinkle with salt to taste. But there are lot of ways to eat this vegetable which is one of my favorites. It tastes like a fresh, baby spinach without the slightly bitter taste of oxalic acid.

      1. I've had it stir fried with just garlic.

        I also had a spicy version of it in China at a restaurant. They just stir fried with chili sauce.

        I mostly had it stir fried with fermented tofu. But I heard this stuff has carcinogens. I like this stuff but try to eat less of it.

        The saying with this veggie is that it gives you cramps if you eat it before going swimming.

        2 Replies
        1. re: designerboy01

          I have never heard about carcinogens in fermented tofu. It sure tastes good. Maybe that's why some people insist on buying the American made kind. Most of them (mine included) are imported from China.

          1. re: dimsumgirl

            I still eat it too. I never saw an american made one. Just be careful with some of the stuff you buy from China and try to stick to trusted labels only gradma and grandpa may know.

        2. Ah, great minds think alike! Saturday after lunch, I stopped on the way home to cruise a large Asian grocery store and found some extremely fresh ong choy and the fermented bean curd brand dimsumgirl told me about - we had been talking about how do you decide what brand of fu yu (fermented bean curd/wet bean curd) to buy - there are sometimes as many as 3 dozen kinds on the shelf at most of the Asian markets in my area. The brand I bought, after dimsumgirl showed me what the label looks like is Liu Ma Kee Wet Bean Curd - for the princely sum of 99 cents. The cashier at the store nodded in appreciation of the fact that this is a good brand!

          Armed with said preserved bean curd, I cracked my copy of Grace Young's cookbook "The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen" and found on page 93 "Stir-Fried Water Spinach (aka ong choy or toong sum choy). This is a simple recipe and produces a delicious result... I have conquered my fear of how to buy preserved bean curd!

          1 Reply
          1. re: RWCFoodie

            The first time I bought this brand the Chinese lady at the counter gave me her approval for buying the "right" brand as well! My stock went up and she gives me a warm welcome every time I go back to that store.

          2. i like to stir fry the ong choy with garlic and near the end, add oyster sauce.