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FORAGING FOR EDIBLE WEEDS IN SINGAPORE : PEPPEROMIA


I have been reading up about foraging for edible weeds in Singapore and it has been most challenging. We do not have a foraging culture here and the urban landscape makes it difficult for safe edible plants to be found. I am talking about animal excretion, pesticides and trampling. I have also not found a good guidebook for tropical weeds. Not to mention, it is illegal to forage in many parks and gardens.

But, I do know about this one weed which is edible. And it grows in my parents' garden. Not a lot of it but I did manage to find a handful. This is called pepperomia. It is a delicate yet hardy weed can be used in stir fries or eaten raw in salads. Singaporeans do not use this at all in our many cuisines but I managed to find how it is being used in Vietnamese cuisine.



Vietnamese Crab Claw Herb – Rau Càng Cua
Vietnamese Names: Rau Càng Cua

Common Culinary Name: Vietnamese crab claw herb, salad pepperomia

Botanical Family and Name: Pepperomia Pellucida

Vegetative Description: Small, crawling plant with shiny, slightly heart shaped leaves. Succulent stems and leaves with long flower spikes. Leaves are slightly heart shaped, tapering to a point at the ends.

Native Habitat: Asia

Tasting Note: Very fragrant, floral, slightly spicy

Culinary Uses: Stir fried with beef and tossed in various salads.

Medicinal Uses: N.A

Propagation: Easily propagated by cuttings in water or soil with quickly spreading root runners. 

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