“How did you like amaranth? I did not know that is what it was called.” said my Dad.
Amaranth is the green & red leaf in the picture above. I still have no idea what it’s called in Chinese, but I do know that it’s a tasty green veggie. If you like spinach but are getting a bit sick of it, I totally recommend trying amaranth greens. They’re $2.29/lb at the Asian Food Market on Central Ave in Albany, so a big baggie will only run you about $5, and it stays fresh for over a week. The stems are a bit tougher than spinach, so a quick stirfry or boil/blanch will do them well. I personally find that spinach can go from raw to mushy & overcooked quite quickly. Amaranth has more texture, so it will still cook the leafy green part nicely without cooking the entire leaf into mush.
That said, they’re also just fine & dandy mixed in with some of the other green tastiness you see above (scallions, thai basil, & limes) for pho mixins if you don’t mind a little extra chew.
Amaranth is a touch sweeter than spinach, and when cooked can give off a bit of a pink hue/liquid (a cute veggie? whoda thunk?). I like to cook it quickly in a pan, like a quick stirfry/sautee. I don’t like to use soy sauce with it so that the sweet vegetal flavor comes through & isn’t overwhelmed by salt (and I love salt). Normally I’ll just melt a bit of oil in a pan, toss the greens in, and either salt it and add a bit of water and cover, or add a bit of chicken broth & cover. Just a few minutes, no longer than 5 for sure. Then you get simple tasty greens.