18 Mar2012

My suki at the FTI market stuffed several bunches of this mystery green into our baskets as we were leaving her stall last Saturday. I didn’t have the heart to say no, and when I asked what they were, she said “parang baby spinach, Chinese clients often purchase it”… and with that I headed home. I haven’t the foggiest clue what they are, and how I should use them. I suspect they are flash stir fried, or perhaps blanched, or maybe added to soups… but I can’t seem to find them in my reference books… or maybe I just don’t know where to start looking. Any help would be appreciated.

I suspect they are flash stir fried, or perhaps blanched, or maybe added to soups… but I can’t seem to find them in my reference books… or maybe I just don’t know where to start looking. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! :)



  1. Meki says:

    this will be really good on sandwiches or green monster (where they blend spinach as a drink), try some spinach lasagna! umm dying to have spinach/ baby spinach on my hand.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 7:01 pm


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  3. ada says:

    Isn’t it “bayam”? Since you have lived in Indonesia, I think you know what it is. Correct me if I’m wrong, “bayam” belongs to the spinach family. We usually use it in soups.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 7:17 pm

  4. kitchen says:

    Make a side dish of creamed spinach for a nice thick steak or as a pureed soup, or a florentine sauce….

    Mar 18, 2012 | 7:42 pm

  5. jen888rn says:

    looks like sweet peas or snap peas leaves.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 7:46 pm

  6. izang says:

    nakain ko yan sa sinigang na isda sa sampaloc before…although for me, wala masyado character kasi baka na-overpower ng asim ng sabaw…

    Mar 18, 2012 | 8:02 pm

  7. kk says:

    it looks like the Ilocanos’ “kalkalunay”. you can mix this with other vegetables to make dinengdeng/inabraw. or you can just blanch it & eat with bagoong balayan like kamote tops.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 8:04 pm

  8. ruchie says:

    looks like what we call “kulitis” inWestern Visayas. Perfect with white meat fish tinola.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 8:43 pm

  9. Mimi says:

    They honestly do not look that fresh :( But I cannot tell what they are. Most Chinese greens are quickly stir-fried in garlic, dash of soy and that’s it.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 9:08 pm

  10. Footloose says:

    Could this be cultivated Chinese amaranth? Our common local wild amaranth (known as kulitis) shows purplish hue and as far as I know, is not eaten though the fleshy trunks and stems are allowed to dry, burnt down to ash and placed in a cracked pot with a bit of water and the drip collected as legía.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 9:33 pm

  11. Maricel says:

    They are too wilted for me to really tell but they look like ashitaba otherwise known as cholesterol spinach. My doctor cousin attended a seminar and learned that eating 5 raw leaves a day decreases your cholesterol levels. We use the ones we harvest in place of greens in monggo guisado or sinigang. They are easy to propagate.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 9:56 pm

  12. wilz says:

    google “amaranthus blitum”

    Mar 18, 2012 | 10:41 pm

  13. chichay says:

    looks like a local spinach to me. we make soup or just simply saute this local veggie. saute garlic, onion and lots of ripe tomatoes. use tinapa flakes to add a smoky flavor to the dish. as a soup add lots of water, wait for it to boil, then add the leaves, then turn off the heat as the leaves turn bright green, this is to maintain the crispness of the leaves and just to release its flavor. or if you want it a simple sauteed , follow the same procedure just lessen the water.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 10:49 pm

  14. Mart says:

    HI MM, see post #30 in the recent Russian Sage (and penmanship) post:
    for how to identify the plant by leaf shape and pattern occurrence of leaves on the stalk.

    At first I thought it might be snow pea leaves (sometimes sold here in the US asian market as some kind of spinach alternative) but the leaf shape is different.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 10:56 pm

  15. betty q. says:

    Snow pea leaves have like 3 lobes and tendrils as well. Without seeing Footloose’s comment, my first guess was Emerald Green amaranth. But on closer look at the second photo, the leaves seem to look like flat and glossy like a spinach. Amaranth leaves sort of have the fuzzy thingey on the surface of the leaves. So, it looks similar… the leaves to a New Zealand spinach which is of the trailing variety. You have it all bunched up, MM…not that it is kangkong but New Zealand spinach is usually harvested bunched up like kangkong.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 11:11 pm

  16. Fatcat says:

    Spinach! Good replacement for kangkong in you regular sinigang….

    Mar 18, 2012 | 11:21 pm

  17. betty q. says:

    Ok…scrap my comment up above , MM. What you have in your basket is the EDIBLE GREEN ROUND LEAF AMARANTH…www.evergreenseeds.com. Footloose hit it right on the nail! It is preferred by the Chinese so your suki is right as well!

    Mar 18, 2012 | 11:24 pm

  18. Edwin says:

    Looks like lowland spinach to me. Locally we call them kulitis and Singaporeans / Malaysians call them bayam.

    Mar 18, 2012 | 11:41 pm

  19. Nell says:

    “What is this and how do I cook it?” –> surely these were someone else’s last words.

    Mar 19, 2012 | 12:47 am

  20. Emerson says:

    Looks like pea shoots. Popular during winter here in Hong Kong.

    Mar 19, 2012 | 12:48 am

  21. betty q. says:

    Gejo…you might want to check out evergreen seeds…they have a new variety of baby pac choi called Hybrid Pac Choi Purple…the stems are green like Shanghai Bok Choi but the leaves are deep purple!

    Mar 19, 2012 | 2:27 am

  22. betty q. says:

    I forgot …amaranth generally taste like spinach though some say it is sweeter. A gardener friend plants the purple variety and harvests then when young and adds it to mungo guisado. When she has a bumper crop, the blanched leaves makes an Japanese spinach salad , gomaae, napped with ginger sesame dressing with a touch of peanut butter.

    Another one …Pasta…sauté shallots and garlic on olive oil…add roasted red peppers and chunks of home smoked chicken thighs…add spaghetti nd the amaranth….toss to combine and lastly, season, and add bread crumbs……that is what my family had as late snack without the amaranth.

    Chinese spanakopita….flaky pastry done like quick puff pastry , with the layers ….excellent vegetarian dish this Lenten season…. Blanched amaranth mixed into a 5 cheese base with sautéed shallots and capers.

    This is what I can think of just at the top of my head while having coffee with hubby at Starbucks’s, I can come up with other uses later today.

    Mar 19, 2012 | 4:07 am

  23. j-gurl says:

    that is spinach..we often cook it sa house,…we just make gisa with tomatoes then add sardines and a little bit of water…

    Mar 19, 2012 | 8:59 am

  24. millet says:

    kulitis. called local spinach but i don’t think it’s real spinach. used to have lots of this in the garden.

    Mar 19, 2012 | 9:10 am

  25. Marilou See says:

    The first thing that comes into my mind when I saw the picture is SPINACH. Your suki vendor is right, we loves to buy them and stir fried with oyster sauce…and top with crunchy garlic…yummy!

    Mar 19, 2012 | 11:55 am

  26. earl says:

    Pea Pods stem and leaves!

    Mar 19, 2012 | 12:29 pm

  27. ranny ace says:

    in the north, baguio and la union there are lots of those, since we were a kid (about 15 years ago) we have it as a salad , blanched then add some tomatoes + bagoong isda as dressing… nice side dish to fried fish… until now still love making them, reminiscint of childhood days (and forced to eat greens) lol.

    Mar 19, 2012 | 3:05 pm

  28. Edwin says:

    Can’t be pea. No tendrils can be seen

    Mar 19, 2012 | 6:13 pm

  29. Tina says:

    Hi MM. this looks a lot like the native spinach available in the palengke. My husband says this is more flavorful than the kind bought from the supermarket. We would just blanch this and dip in bagoong. yummy!!

    Mar 19, 2012 | 6:48 pm

  30. Natie says:

    Yes, it’s Kulitis alright..cook it as you would Spinach..good with ginisang monggo and ground beef/pork

    Mar 20, 2012 | 8:24 am

  31. francis says:

    Is it a small seedling, with just a few leaves, reddish/pinkish on the stalk, no mature thorns yet, and with the roots? If yes, it’s what we Iloko call “kalkalunay”. It’s good as inabraw, or dinengdeng ( with lots of kamote), or with monggo guisado, or just blanched with Lingayen bagoong. :D

    Mar 20, 2012 | 10:36 am

  32. lagosite says:

    Aren’t these watercress? I see a lot of these in Baguio. We usually just blanch it then add sesame oil.

    Mar 20, 2012 | 4:30 pm

  33. Meg says:

    That’s kulitis or native spinach. Best for ginisang munggo.

    Mar 21, 2012 | 7:49 am

  34. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Teehee dont know what they are..but I suspect they belongs to the spinach family. You can gisa with a little ground pork and a little sabaw. I often buy and cook them when I see this and I suspect it belongs to the spinach family. Popeye’s?

    Mar 21, 2012 | 7:40 pm

  35. paeng says:

    I think I know that vegetable?.. It’s called ‘kulitis’. Used to have it in soups (bulalo, sinigang/sinampalukan).. Not much flavor.. It grows in the wild..

    Mar 22, 2012 | 11:02 am

  36. kb says:

    I agree with Emerson. Looks like pea shoots. Would always get them in HK which is called TaoMiao over there. HK restos usually serve it stir fried with garlic with a little bit of sauce

    Mar 23, 2012 | 1:32 am

  37. atbnorway says:

    Unang tingin ko pa lamang dito ay kulitis agad ang naalala ko. They grew wild in our backyard and mother used to feed them to our pigs as supplement because it’s rich in iron. But there were times, she also added kulitis to our favourite Friday fare ginisang munggo.

    Mar 23, 2012 | 6:15 pm

  38. franz says:

    we cook that stuff in soups as greens or part of a salad. and yes, spinach family nga sya. tasty stuff. higher in vitamin C content than regular spinach.

    Mar 26, 2012 | 10:42 pm

  39. Lovela Mendoza says:

    my tatay used to call it “paitan” because of it’s bitter taste, we usually make that greens into salad blanched in hot water, put some onions,tomato and bgoong blayan with calamansi…

    Apr 16, 2012 | 10:42 pm


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