Water Spinach is called kōng xīn cài in Chinese, which literally means 'empty hearted' spinach. The name probably comes from its round, hollow stems. It has slender, long, pointed leaves. The vegetable is quite popular in southern Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines, where it is known as 'kang kung'. Water spinach is an herbaceous aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial plant of the tropics and subtropics. Water spinach grows wild in aquatic environments, but can also be grown in well irrigated fields. Almost all parts of the young plant tissue are edible, but the tender shoot tips and younger leaves are preferred. In Asia, water spinach is stir-fried, most often with fermented white bean curd, shrimp paste, or garlic.