The original recipe for these Pineapple Pork Spring Rolls included water spinach. I had never tried water spinach before, so searched the local area to see if I could find it. During my search, I learned something new. It is illegal to possess water spinach in the state of Florida. Water spinach (kangkong, Chinese spinach, phak bung, rau muong, water convolvulus, water morning glory, swamp cabbage) is a leafy green vegetable common in Southeast Asia. It grows easily and quickly in waterways with minimal care. Due to the ability to become invasive and clog waterways, it is illegal to possess in Florida (and until recently in Texas) and require a special permit in many other areas. In hot and wet climates, it has the ability to grow 4 inches in a day. A single plant can also spread up to 70 feet. Water spinach is highly nutritious and is rich in protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. Maybe I will be able to try it someday when we move.
More information on Water Spinach.
I filled these spring rolls with pork, garlic, ginger, pineapple, spinach, and cilantro. Spinach is not related to water spinach. I just wanted to substitute with another leafy green vegetable and we had spinach on hand. The spring rolls were amazing and I did not have a single one leftover. If you don’t want to wrap up the filling, it is great on its own over a bed of rice. A dipping sauce is not needed, but I served the spring rolls with sweet chili sauce mixed with a few pieces of pineapple.
Health Note: If you are able to find water spinach, make sure it is heated thoroughly during cooking. Raw water spinach carries the risk of transmitting Fasciolopsis buski, an intestinal fluke parasite.