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Jan 21, 2012 07:55 PM

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