Bông So Đũa Trắng - Sesbania grandiflora

Bông So Đũa Trắng – Sesbania grandiflora

Whilst being a distant memory for me nowadays, I can still taste my grandma’s ‘Canh Chua’, deliciously tangy, belly warming soup, whenever I see these flowers.

The flowers of Sesbania grandiflora are eaten as a vegetable in Southeast Asia. Probably most commonly (but by no means exclusively) they are eaten in my Grandma’s specialty dish ‘Bông So Đũa Nấu Canh Chua’ (Vietnamese sweet & sour soup, using tamarind, prawns or fish with these petals).

My Grandparents still grow them in their back yard, although not in the vast quantities that they used to as they switched a few out to grow mangoes, bananas and papaya’s, amongst other things instead (so I didn’t complain too much…DELICIOUS!!). I remember helping granddad pick them for grandma to cook.. And by help I mean pick them up from the floor as the trees were always too tall. Who would have guessed that they would cost an arm & a leg to buy over here, and a mission to find in the first place!

So…The plan is to hunt these down in London and attempt the dish soon! Watch this space! If I can’t find them then I guess I’ll just have to fly back to Vietnam and bring (smuggle – #nothingtodeclare) some back with me… :)