Friday, June 1, 2012

Pumpkin Sprouts 南瓜苗 nàahm-gwâa-miùh

Recently while at the wet market I saw greens that looked a bit like bracken fern.

The seller told me that those were not fiddleheads ferns but pumpkin sprouts (nàahm-gwâa-miùh南瓜苗) and they would only be available for a short period of time (about one month).
I had never tried this veggie before. I knew that pumpkin blossoms could be deep-fried or stuffed and baked but did not know that pumpkin sprouts were also edible. As I usually do (when I discover a “new” veggie), I asked the stallholder how to prepare it. The lady vendor told me to simply stir-fry the plant with or without meat.

Pumpkin sprouts
I saw nàahm-gwâa-miùh at 2 different stalls; one was selling it for HK$12 per catty and the other for HK$14 / catty (1 catty is about 600gr).

Unfurling fronds of pumpkin sprouts
Pumpkin sprouts and pork stir-fry

Pumpkin sprouts and pork stir-fry
  • ½ catty (~300g) pumpkin sprouts
  • ~150g lean pork or boneless pork chop (sliced)
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)

Wash pumpkin sprouts and snap off the rough ends (keep only the tender part of the plant).
Marinate the pork slices with potato starch, water and salt for at least ½ hour (help to tenderize the meat).
Stir-fry minced shallots and garlic

Add pork and cook trough

Add sprouts and seasonings

Stir-fry pumpkin sprouts until done (for ~10-15 min)

When done, turn off the heat and transfer the stir-fried ingredients to a plate. Serve hot.

The matchstick-like veggie was crisp and I liked its pleasant and unique flavour. Yet I think that the sprouts would be better cooked in small amounts, for example in a stir-fry with other veggies, mushrooms and dried bean curd (a combination of different textures – dried and fresh ingredients).
I would like to add that pumpkin sprouts are not going to be my favourite veggie but that my experiment with them was definitely better than the fiddlehead ferns'one! 



  1. Interesting post! I'd never heard of pumpkin sprouts and I'm quite intrigued. Thank you for sharing.