Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Malabar Spinach Soup ( Saan Choy Tong )

This is a simple veggie soup whereby the white of salted egg is added to the soup for better taste. This Malabar Spinach or slippery veg has many goodness in it. High in vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and protein!

My grandma used to tell me when I was a young lass, that it is good for our digestive system and bowel movement :P The whites of the salted egg helps remove heat from our body…old tales? Well, older people are wiser people…ahem ,ahem… young people don't take offence..okie..... ^ *

Malabar Spinach has a mild taste similar to the spinach. The leaves and stems can be purplish-red or green . The young leaves are for use in soups, stir-fries and fresh salads. The purplish-red leaved and stemmed variety is “ Basella –rubra ” and the green leaved and stemmed variety is “ Basella- alba ” . The French name is “ Brèdes ” , Japanese name is “ Tsuru Murasaki ” and the Chinese name is " Saan Choy/ Shu Chieh "

I will cook this soup at least twice a month . It is a simple and easy to prepare soup and it is tasty too. This post is dedicated to Quinn, an engineer from Down Under and also a regular reader of my blog :))

Malabar Spinach Soup / (Saan Choy Tong )( serves 2)


300 gm Malabar Spinach – pick the young leaves with stem, washed and drain dry
½ cup of dried anchovies- washed and drain dry
3 pips of garlic- crushed
1 tbsp of olive oil
1200 ml of water ( more if desire )
white of 1 salted egg
sea salt to taste


Heat up the olive oil in a soup pot and sauté the crushed garlic till fragrant. Add in the anchovies and stir fry till the anchovies are light brown. Pour in the 1200ml of water and boil for half hour under medium heat. When the soup is boiling, add in the Malabar spinach. The leaves and stems will turned darker color when it is cooked. Add in the white of salted egg and off the fire. Lightly stir the whites so that the soup is not cloudy . Add in salt to taste. Serve hot.

Note: You can use one whole salted egg for this soup . But for those who have used the yolks for mooncake, you can use the whites for this soup. The rest , you can store them in ice cube container and keep in the freezer for further use when cooking this soup.



  1. I didn't know that this vege is called malabar spinach. Not sure if it's true, my mom said that it's good for smokers. :-P

  2. Normally I just use its leaves portion to cook the similar soup like yours, but with fish balls added.

  3. Thank you Elin!
    You're the best!
    Unfortunately, malabaar is not the baby spinach here.
    Lemme take a pic next time and show you!
    Thanks a million!
    Will make it next week!
    Love that this recipe serves 2 only!

  4. @ Piggy : I heard that it detox the blood and good for smokers too. Anyway, I love the taste of the spinach with the salted egg white...yummy soup!

    @ little Inbox : Great with fish ball too :)

    @ Quinn : Lol, it was not the baby spinach! but just the same the recipe goes for all types of vege. It will taste good too! And you are welcome to the recipe :)))

  5. Love the simplicity of the soup and the taste of the salty egg white. Yummie....

  6. My MIL had boiled this soup for us before. But my hubby didn't like this veggie because of its name - slippery/ "mucus" veggie. ;)

  7. @ Juliana : Hi Juliana, yup the egg whites add flavor to the soup but not many ppl like it coz of the ' slippery "nature of the veggie like the okra :)

    @ Food For Tots : Haha yup not many ppl like the veggie :)

  8. What a gorgeous soup! I wish I had bowl of this right now.

  9. Hi Paula,

    this is a wonderful soup :) mmmm lotz of goodness in it :))

  10. It looks and sounds so delicious! I've never seen Malabar spinach before but thanks for giving us the alternative names. I'll search for it at the Asian market - maybe I'll be lucky! 8-)

  11. lol, malabar is the name of a chewing gum brand that makes big bubbles in France. So I associate it more to the chewing gum than the place :)
    Great soup ! :)) helthy!

  12. @ Tangled Noodle : You are welcome :)

    @ Christelle : Cool, and I thought Malabar is in India :) and it is also a chewing gum brand...


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