I have grown plenty of sweet potatoes in my gardens over the years, and they’re really easy to grow generally, although I’ve had hit and miss crops from them in terms of the potatoes themselves.
But this year, when faced with a sprouting sweet potato in the cupboard, I decided to try something different, and to instead grow it for the leaves, which I didn’t realise were edible. And I’m really glad I did it.
The other night, I harvested a bunch of the smaller leaves off a bunch of runners in the pot, and trimmed them off the main stalks – so I had a bunch of leaves with stems attached, as you can see in the pictures of them in the bowl for washing. I washed them well, a few times, to make sure they were clean, and then I stir fried them.
I used what I had in the cupboard – so in this case it was a couple of cloves of garlic , which I let fry up a bit until they were nice and crunchy, and then tossed in the leaves, along with a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil. Once the leaves had wilted down, I grabbed them out and immediately served them as a side to a separate red curry I had made. The taste is a bit like spinach, and the texture reminds me of kang kong, another of my favourite asian greens.
It was a nice little addition to dinner – and afterwards when my wife told my mother-in-law (who is Chinese Malaysian, and is who I get a lot of my cooking inspiration from), she said they used to do it a lot, and she had forgotten it! So I got a few brownie points with her as well.
It’s a fast growing, prolific vegetable that I reckon is worth a try for both the leaves and the tubers themselves.
Here is some more from Josh and other baked goodies: