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空心菜 kong xin cai: hollow heart vegitable

Where can one find 空心菜 hollow heart vegetable in Manhattan restaurants.

I have seen it at several places on the menu, though with a special price season mark.

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  1. Should be able to find it at your neighborhood cantonese slophouse

    1. It is ubiquitous in Cantonese places, as AubWah says--though usually called "Ong choi" or "Tung choi" and written differently. It usually comes with either furu (fermented bean curd) or xian xia (shrimp paste). I love both, but actually prefer xi yang cai (watercress) or Chinese spinach, since ong choi is often slimy (maybe that's the point). There are also all too often bugs hiding in those hollow hearts.......But we still get it. The Malaysian place in the Bowery Arcade does it with dried squid and a spicy peanut sauce---that is a truly funky and wonderful dish! It is listed as an appetizer.

      New Malaysia
      48 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

      1. I more often see this called water spinach, kangkong or ong choy on menus. I usually get it at Southeast Asian restaurants (like Fatty Crab, Laut, etc), though like swannee mentioned, it's ubiquitous in Cantonese restaurants -- usually simple prepared with garlic and sauce.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JungMann

          In Phillipines they call it kang-kong and is same but means swamp morning glory . Often served with fermented shrimp paste or patis.

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            Is this the same as pak boong, or morning glory in Thailand? If so, Zabb Elee in the East Village does a nice version.

            Zabb Elee
            75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        2. We ordered it for our hot pot at Famous Sichuan Saturday night and there was no additional cost (unlike the snow pea shoots). I'd think it would be on their regular menu or you could just ask for it.

          Famous Sichuan
          10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

          1. Most decent restaurants in Chintatown have that, it is very popular

            1. Also referred to on some menus as water convolvulus. Even a lot of the Fujian style restaurants (e.g., Happy Garden Palace) carry the dish.

              1. In Cantonese restaurants they typically call it "tung choy" 通菜 or "tung sum choy" 通心菜

                Same vegetable, similar meaning, slightly different Chinese name.

                Or the spicy version belachan kakung at Malaysian restaurants, that can be quite excellent.

                1 Reply
                1. re: K K

                  通 tong is very appropiate perhaps, as macaroni noodles are prefixed with tong.

                  空 kong is used on the mainland places I have been and just shows you the variations from region to region with the other designations for it.

                  Thanks, very interesting.

                  I since have seen it places but have not ordered it yet.

                2. Not just at Cantonese restaurants. You can find it at practically any Chinese restaurant. Just ask for it. They had it at Szechuan Gourmet for example.

                  Szechuan Gourmet
                  21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

                  1. as everyone else said, its quite easy to find

                    i would recommend trying it at overseas asian (malaysian restaurant, but everyone is cantonese or hakka from malaysia). their version if quite good, you can see it here:

                    Overseas Taste
                    49 Canal St, New York, NY 10002

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Lau

                      It was very good at Overseas ( no relation to the Overseas Restaurants in Malaysia)

                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        yah they do it well there, its the best dish ive tried there

                      2. re: Lau

                        I will head there soon.

                        I have missed it preparation I am used to and will be interested to see if it is the same here. There is not much to do with it other than how its prepared as a vegetable plate, and that is what I am looking for.

                        An perhaps Overseas is the place to get it.

                        1. re: jonkyo

                          well it may taste a little different since it is the malaysian preparation using belacan (which is shrimp paste), but I think you'll like it