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Also known as
Water Mimosa is a small woody shrub with ornamental, feathered leaves and axillary and terminal bright yellow flower balls. The leaves fold down when they are touched and re-open a couple of minutes later. Water mimosa, Neptunia oleracea, is a vegetable commonly eaten raw or stir-fried in Thailand. It is an aquatic plant cultivated much like rice. The young leaves, shoot tips and young pods are eaten, and the roots are used medicinally. It is best to keep the leaf, keep the soft edible stems, discard the hard stems and clean properly with water before eating or cooking.
How to select
The fresh water mimosa should have light green colour and the leaves should not be wilted. They are not readily available in vegetable stores and should be looked for in exotic veg section or at Thai food stores.
" Chop up the leaf, discarding the thick stems, and boile it with onions, champignons and tomatoes, adding some parsley and chinese chives just before serving
" They can even be eaten raw, with a chili dipping sauce. Alternatively, they are added towards the end of the cooking time in sour soups or sour red curry
" Water Mimosa is a popular Thai vegetable that is most often cooked in spicy salads or fried with meats. It is particularly delicious in Gaeng Som soup.
" 'Stir Fry Water Mimosa with Ground Chicken' is yet another popular thai recipe.
How to store
Fresh leaves should be refrigerated and consumed within a week.
" Water mimosa leaves is considered to be having cathartic, astringent and, antiseptic properties.