Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stir-fried purslane

15 March 2009

Charmaine Solomon writes of purslane's medicinal uses: In Indonesia purslane was traditionally prescribed for cardiac weakness. The latest research in Western medicine reveals that it is one of the few vegetable sources of omega 3 [fatty acids]...which have an anti-inflammatory effect. It has a high iron and Vitamin C content, hence its use in the prevention and treatment of scurvy.

The succulent stems and small fleshy leaves with a slightly mucilagenous quality are eaten raw, served with a dip of fish sauce.

That sounds rather good, if you like fish sauce, as I do. I would add to the little dipping bowl a big squeeze of lime, a teaspoon of sugar and half a chopped chile. Wash purslane thoroughly and chop into small dippable lengths, stem and all. Dip, eat. Rice on the side and a more substantial dish and you have a very good meal.

Stir fried Purslane, Chinese Style:

Serves 4

1 or 2 bunches purslane
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Wash purslane, shake dry and trim off the roots and tough lower ends of the stems. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat oil and fry garlic on low heat until fragrant. Toss in the purslane and stir fry for 1 minute, add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and mix quickly.

Charmaine Solomon, Encyclopedia of Asian Food

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