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Help identifying Asian green?

sockii Mar 21, 2012 02:29 PM

I picked up a package of this at my local Asian market because it looked interesting, yet it had no label of what KIND of herb or green it actually was (save a generic "Vietnamese herb" label). Anyone here able to help me out? Just trying to figure out what it is and if it's best as a garnish, in salads, stiry-fries, etc.

  1. Zeldog Mar 21, 2012 08:25 PM

    Looks like sorrel to me. Kitazawa seeds lists it under "Vietnames herbs" (even though it's not native to Vietnam) and says it's also known as rau chua (sour herb) or rau thom (fresh herb) . But I would not describe the taste as funky. Sour is more like it, so if what you have tastes fishy rather than tart, I guess it's fish mint.

    1. f
      Fid Mar 21, 2012 08:17 PM

      It looks like La Lot leaves (a kind of the betel leaf) that is used for Bo La Lot (grilled beef rolls).

      1. p
        pantruque Mar 21, 2012 03:33 PM

        I think it's vap ca, aka fish mint.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pantruque
          sockii Mar 21, 2012 03:48 PM

          Oh, I think you're right! I checked some photos and that does seem to match - also the somewhat "pungent" taste/aroma when I crinkled a leaf and tasted it. Sounds like I could definitely use it in some grilling dishes I have in mind.


        2. c
          chow_fun Mar 21, 2012 03:29 PM

          Hard to say... it looks like Malabar spinach, but the stems seem to long.
          Are the leaves fragrant or do they have any particular flavor?

          1 Reply
          1. re: chow_fun
            sockii Mar 21, 2012 03:50 PM

            I think it's fish mint, as suggested below. That fits the appearance as well as the slightly "funky" taste when I crushed and tasted a leaf. I'll be trying it this weekend and am curious that I read I can try to get some root growth off of cuttings...I'm working on a really varied herb garden for this spring so this might fit in beautifully...

          2. Chemicalkinetics Mar 21, 2012 02:47 PM

            Hmmm... I was going to say sweet potato leaf (番薯葉),

            but apparently they may not be... as you said it is Vietnamese herb.

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