April 1, 2010

Stir Fried Spicy Sweet Potato Leaves

Sweet Potato leaves (Ipomoea batatas) remind me of my childhood growing up in Malaysia. Behind the house next to the outhouse, the sandy plot was covered with rows of sweet potatoes. When it is time for harvesting we had sweet potatoes almost everyday, boiled, steamed, baked, or fried. The leaves are good forage for pigs and other domestic animals, so eating this is much looked down upon in some areas as food of the poor. My mother would picked through the leaves and keep the young shoots and stems for cooking. The taste is bland so it is often cooked with a spicy sauce or sambal. I've tried making a curry with this and it's not too bad.
1 bunch of sweet potato leaves
3 dried chilles, presoaked
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 shallots, peeled
1 Tbsp. dried shrimps, washed and presoaked
1. Pick and strip the leaves from the branches, keeping only the young shoots and stems. Cut it into 2" strips. Washed and drain well.
2. Bring a large pot of water (filled halfway) to boil on high heat. Blanch the leaves for about 5 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water. Drain and keep for later.
3. Pound or chop the chillies, garlic, shallots, and dried shrimps finely.
4. In a large skillet, heat some oil over high heat. Add the chilli mixture and fry over medium heat till fragrant. Add the greens and season to taste. Serve hot with rice.

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