Forget spiral slicers, veggie splitters are what it’s all about now. The Water Spinach Splitter looks to bring to the masses a specialized kitchen gadget that creates a neat garnish quickly and easily.
Water spinach (rau muong in Vietnamese, ong choy in Cantonese) is a super popular green vegetable in Southeast Asia and Southern China, where it grows literally like a weed. The tender leaves and tops are boiled and stir-fried. The tougher, hollow stems (about 1/4 inch wide) are resourcefully split so that they’re easier to chew.
In the Vietnamese kitchen, the shreds of stems are soaked in water until curly and crunchy. There’s just a slight grassy flavor in the stems, which are enjoyed mostly for their nutritional value and texture.
Typically, the shreds are lightly dressed with a vinaigrette for a salad or set out as a noodle soup garnish for guests who want to add extra crunch and fiber to their meal. (Eating too much of the stems, however, may lead to constipation.) Indeed, there’s little waste when you’re feeding lots of people.
A knife is traditionally used to split the stems, but the modern water spinach splitter (dao che rau muong, literally “knife for splitting water spinach”) works much better and saves time.
For a more personal take, check out Wandering Chopsticks for a nice little story of discovery and enjoyment.