harvesting spiny lasia vegetable

Lasia spinosa – the spiny lasia

Lasia spinosa, the spiny lasia, is a species of flowering plants in thefamily Araceae) native to South Asia and Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Taiwan and southern China. It has spines on stalks, stems, even on leaves. Young leaves are harvested as as vegetable. Spines on young leaves are soft but become hard when they are old.

The spiny lasia - Lasia spinosa
The spiny lasia – Lasia spinosa
  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Lasioideae
  • Genus: Lasia
  • Species: Lasia spinosa
  • English name: spiny lasia
  • Vietnamese: chóc gai, móp gai, ráy gai, móp, rau móp (as vegetable)
harvesting spiny lasia vegetable
Harvesting spiny lasia vegetable (Lasia spinosa) in Củ Chi, HCMC

In Vietnam, the spiny lasia occurs in various parts of the country. But it is more popular in the South where it’s called móp gai, or rau móp when used as a vegetable. The plant used to be a wild vegetable and gathered in the wilderness, but now it is commercially cultivated in some places like Củ Chi (a district in Ho Chi Minh city) and Bình Dương (a nearby province).

Lasia spinosa - the spiny lasia as vegetable
Lasia spinosa – the spiny lasia as vegetable

Culinary uses

The young leaves or buds can be used in many ways: eaten raw, mixed in salads, boiled, stir-fried, cooked in sour soup and hot, etc. However, people often use them for pickling. Pickled spiny lasia is often used in salads, in soups and stir-fry dishes.

pickled spiny lasia
Pickled spiny lasia
chicken salad with pickled spiny lasia
chicken salad with pickled spiny lasia
Spiny lasia soup with soft bean curd
Spiny lasia soup with soft bean curd

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