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.