Monday, December 29, 2014

Stir Fried Marsh Herbs with Garlic (serves 3-4 as part of a shared meal)

My mother and many of my relatives love the semi aquatic vegetable called marsh herb or rau ngổ in Vietnamese. This is similar to water spinach or rau muống (in Vietnamese) but has a very slight bitter taste. The difference between the two is in the preparation. In this part of Vietnam the leaves of marsh herbs are removed and then the stems are cut into 2 inch lengths, washed several times to clean, then rubbed with a little salt against a colander until bruised and soft. It is then washed in water well to remove the salt, squeeze with your hands to remove excess liquid and is then ready to cook. These can be made as a soup or in a simple stir fry such as this dish. Here is more information on marsh herbs:


1 Tbsp oil
1 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
2 bundles of marsh herb or rau ngổ (yields about 3 cups after rubbing until bruised and soft)
About 1 tsp of oyster sauce
A large pinch of sugar
A drizzle of fish sauce


1) Heat a wok or pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot add oil.
2) Add garlic. Saute about 30 seconds.
3) Add marsh herb and saute about 5 minutes or until soft.
4) Add oyster sauce, sugar and fish sauce according to your taste. Cook for another minute.

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