Chinese Spinach

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Chinese spinach Amaranthus tricolor, an annual plant, probably indigenous to India, whose leaves are grown and sold there and in SE Asia as well as China, for use like spinach. It is one of the numerous plants in the amaranth group, and not botanically related to spinach.

The leaves exhibit striking variations in colour, especially in Bengal, where cultivation is intense. Those of one variety familiar in China have red centres. It is usual to cut Chinese spinach into 5 cm (2") lengths and stir-fry it. Leaves and stalks alike become limp when cooked, and have a mild flavour.