Vietnamese Names: Diếp Cá, Dấp Cá, Lá Giáp
Common Culinary Name: Fish Herb, Việt Fish Mint
Common Ornamental Names: Chameleon plant
Botanical Family & Name: Saururaceae, Houttuynia Cordata
Vegetative Description: Vietnamese edible variety is all green (non-variegated), unlike most ornamental “ex. Chameleon” varieties of the same botanical family. Leaf are slightly heart shaped, with small, white flowers.
Native Habitat & Ecology: Japan, Southern China, Southeast Asia
Tasting Note: Strong fish aroma.
Culinary Uses: Not commonly used in American-Vietnamese restaurant dishes because of the bold fishy flavors. But it is very popular in home dishes of grilled meats, fish soup dishes. Also, usually eaten raw in herb noodle salads and fresh home-made fresh spring rolls.
Medicinal Uses: Treat stomach aches, indigestion and swellings. Leaves are crushed to a paste to cure insect bites, rashes & itching
Propagation: Cuttings can be soaked in water to encourage root growth, then planted into soil. Spreads like a weed, so best grown in a container first.
Other Names: Chameleon plant (ornamental variety)