Otsuji Farm
459 Pakala StreetHonoluluOahu(808) 368-1135 Website
Pit Farms


Ala Moana Farmers' Market
1450 Ala Moana BoulevardHonoluluOahu(808) 388-9696Website
Honolulu Farmers' Market
Neil Blaisdell Center777 Ward AvenueHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
Kailua Farmers' Market
609 Kailua Road(Parking lot near Long's and Pier 1)KailuaOahu(808) 848-2074Website
KCC Saturday Farmers Market
4303 Diamond Head RdHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website
KCC @ Night Farmers' Market
Kapiolani Community College4303 Diamond Head RoadHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website

Malabar Spinach (Mồng tơi, Alugbati, Shan Tsoi, Bertalha, Tsurumurasaki)

Not related to spinach but just as nutritious, this very tender and brilliantly green leafy vegetable grows on a soft stemmed and quick climbing vine.  It can be found growing all over India, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Philippines.

It ‘s very easy to grow (see below) is very prolific in hot weather, grows vertically, making it the perfect vegetable to grow in small spaces of busy people.

It is also nutritious – low in calories, high in protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.

Prepping and Eating Tips

– Always wash and dry your malabar leaves before preparing or eating.

– Leaves are best eaten young, older leaves tend to get fleshy.

– Eaten raw it has a juicy crispness with a hint of citrus and pepperiness.

– Eaten cooked it has a bit of mucilage, which makes it a good source of fiber and makes it a good addition to soups and curries as a thickener.

– It also is great just simply stir fried with garlic, ginger and chili.


Selection and Storage Tips

Look for shiny, succulent leaves. Stems should be firm. Avoid bruised, browning leaves and stems.

To extend freshness, take off the twisty tie, and wrap the unwashed leaves in a damp cloth or paper towel,  place in ziplock or plastic bag and store inside the refrigerator crisper/veggie bin.

Can be stored up to four days, but eat sooner rather than later for optimal nutritional value.


Growing Tip

Botanically known as Basella Alba (green stem, green leaves) and Basella Ruba (purplish stem and green leaves).

Malabar Spinach loves full sunlight, humid tropics, under 500 ft sea level so easily can be grown on the lower areas of the islands.  That it climbs makes it a good plant for growing in small places, vertically.  Good to grow in a container or confined area as it can spread really fast under optimal conditions (lots of sun, heat, water, sandy loam soil – so very Hawaii!).


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