Morning glory are medium to large in size and lanceolate or arrowhead-shaped, averaging 10-20 in length and 2-8 centimeters in diameter. The smooth, long green leaves grow in an alternate pattern and form on hollow stems that can grow up to 2 to 3 meters in length. These stems, or vines, are commonly found in aquatic locations and can float on the water and hold the leaves above the water line. Morning glory are tender, and the stems are crunchy, offering a slippery texture when cooked and a mild, sweet, and nutty green flavor.
Morning glory are available year-round.
Morning glory, botanically classified as Ipomoea aquatica, grow on an herbaceous, trailing vine that is found in humid, tropical lowlands and belongs to the Convolvulaceae, or morning glory family. Also known as Kangkung, Kankun, Chinese spinach, Water spinach, River spinach, and Swamp cabbage, Kangkong leaves are a popular leaf vegetable prized for its crunchy stems and tender leaves and can be found in most Southeast Asian cuisines.
Morning glory are a good source of iron and calcium and also contains magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, vitamins C and K, and zinc.
Morning glory can be consumed raw or in cooked applications such as steaming, boiling, or stir-frying. Young shoots can be made into a salad and served with green papaya, but the fragile leaves need to be washed thoroughly before use. Morning glory are commonly stir-fried in oil and served as a side dish or combined with other vegetables and meats to make a complete meal. They can also be used in curries, soups, and coated in a batter and fried to make a crispy appetizer. Morning glory pair well with aromatics such as ginger, garlic, and onions, chili peppers, bay leaves, nam phrik, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, peanut sauces, cuttlefish, and meats such as chicken, pork, and beef. They are highly perishable when fresh and will keep up to 1-2 days in the refrigerator.