Chinese Spinach / Amaranth (莧菜)
The Chinese spinach is almost identical with the western spinach vegetable, and was originally native to Southern America and was later introduced in Europe and Asia. Now, Chinese spinach is a popular vegetable throughout China as it is grown throughout the summer season, and is always in plentiful supply.
The Chinese spinach comes in a wide variety, including both green and red types. Traditionally, the leaves are beautifully green in an oval shape and overall the spinach can grow to between 80-120 cm. Comparable to all types of spinach, the Chinese spinach is rich in iron, making it a highly sought out vegetable to aid in a variety of illnesses.
Similar to western spinach, Chinese spinach preparation begins with gently soaking the leaves to remove any dirt, discarding the roots and then chopping as desired. Chinese spinach can be cooked as part of a soup, or through boiling or steaming, or even sautéing with other vegetables or meats. Additionally, Chinese spinach makes a wonderful side dish for fish dishes, providing a contrast in texture and flavor.