Pennywort (Gotu-Kola) Salad

(Photo by zenryaku/Flickr)

Shredding these small leaves is much easier if the entire amount is rolled tightly within a larger leaf such as lettuce. Then it is a simple matter of slicing thinly through the bundle. This is how Asian cooks do it, without the aid of food processors.

Serves 4.


2 bunches gotu-kola
or about 250 g/8 oz/2 cups leaves without stems
3 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
good squeeze lime or lemon juice
1 sliced chilli (optional)
75 g/2 1/2 oz/1 cup fresh grated coconut
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Wash well and strip leaves from stems. Shred finely with a sharp knife, combine with other ingredients and serve immediately. The flavor is slightly sour, slightly bitter.

Some people prefer this salad to be lightly cooked, if so bring a tablespoon of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the boil in a wok or pan, add all ingredients and toss over heat briefly, stopping before leaves lose their green color.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)