Wednesday, September 16, 2009

sinabawang hipon with alugbati leaves

Still have remaining 13 medium shrimps in the freezer and a handful of alugbati leaves. With that, I prepared shrimp soup... mmmmmm... so nice to sip the soup. The alugbati leaves enhanced the flavor of the soup. Hehehe... The alugbati leaves were given to us by Mommy Sue when we visited them a week ago I think. I wrapped it in a plastic and we forgotten all about it since it was place under the vegetable bin. Hehehe... When I was looking for something to add to my shrimp soup, I saw the plastic and there it was, the alugbati leaves. Good thing most of it are still in good condition (not wilted, not yet yet spoiled, not yet discolored).

I don't know what's gotten in to me, I wanted to share a little something about alugbati... Alugbati leaves (malabar spinach in English) is common in our homeland, Cebu, Philippines. It easily grows anywhere with very little supervision needed. Not only the leaves but also the stem and the seeds can be eaten as well. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and a good source of vitamins A, B, and C, calcium and iron. It is also a good source of roughage (fiber) and it's easy to digest. It can also be prepared/cooked with other vegetables and meat or just as is (just sauteed lightly in oil with garlic and onion).

Alugbati also has medicinal uses. "Roots are employed as rubefacient. Poultice of leaves used to reduce local swelling. Sap is applied to acne eruptions to reduce inflammation. Decoction of leaves used for its mild laxative effects. Pulped leaves applied to boils and ulcers to hasten suppuration. Sugared juice of leaves useful for catarrhal afflictions. Leaf-juice, mixed with butter, is soothing and colling when applied to burns and scalds. In Ayurveda, used for hemorrhages, skin diseases, sexual weakness, ulcers and as laxative in children and pregnant women. In Nigeria, use for fertility enhancement in women."* However, the source said these are folkloric only but I hope these are for real.

Now here's a recipe with alugbati. Very easy and quick to prepare.

13 medium shrimps
1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
1 small onion, quartered
1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
spring onion, separate white part from green part
a handful alugbati leaves
4 cups water
1/2 shrimp broth cube
salt and pepper

Boil water with ginger, onion, white part of spring onion and broth cube. Then add the shrimp and tomato. Boil for 1-2 minutes or just until the shrimp turned orange.

Add salt and pepper and the alugbati leaves. Turn off the heat after 1 minute.

Serve hot.

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Alugbati photo and * from