|Hongfeng cai 紅鳳菜 plant|
Gynura bicolor, hongfeng cai 紅鳳菜, okinawan spinach or edible gynura, is a member of the chrysanthemum family (Asteraceae). It is native to China, Thailand, and Myanmar but grown in many other places as a vegetable and as a medicinal herb.
There are two kinds: one that is green on both sides, and another with leaves that are green on the top and purple underneath. Both kinds are considered medicinal vegetables. Gynura bicolor is a perennial and therefore found for sale throughout the year; however, winter and spring is the best time.
Gynura bicolor is rich in iron and potassium, calcium, vitamin A, etc. According to Chinese food grouping, Gynura bicolor is a 'cool' food, so the leaves are stir-fried with sesame oil and ginger (both 'hotter' foods) to achieve a balance. The stems and roots of the plant can also be made into tea by boiling with water. Choose leaves with few bruises and without black stains. In Japan, Gynura bicolor is eaten as local vegetable in Ishikawa, Kumamoto and Okinawa and so on, blanched lightly and served with ponzu, as an ingredient of miso soup, or tempura.
Taking cuttings is very easy.
- The Plant List, Gynura bicolor (Roxb. ex Willd.) DC.
- Flora of China, Gynura bicolor (Roxburgh ex Willdenow) Candolle, 1838. 红凤菜 hong feng cai
- "Chinese Kitchen" (PDF). communitycenter.org.tw. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "Taking cuttings". GreenTaiwan. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
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