Native to China, Thailand and Myanmar, Okinawa Spinach is a dense, low growing green of the Asteraceae family, unrelated to common spinach. It is ornamental with shiny green leaves on top and dusty purple underbelly, and is also incredibly nutritious, offering a plethora of vitamins, proteins, and minerals as well as phytochemicals. It is known to help lower cholesterol. The leaves have a crisp, nutty and herbaceous flavor with a hint of pine. It is said the younger the leaves, the tastier.
How to Prepare Okinawa Spinach:
Okinawa Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves and young shoot tips can be steamed, used in stir fry, tempura, stews, and soups. Overcooking can cause it to become slimy. Because the flavor is strong, it is often seen mixed with other greens.