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    It was 22 years ago when I arrived in Canada and chose Calgary, Alberta to be my home.  Leaving my family and friends behind, it was a new adventure for me to be in a new country without knowing anyone.  That was the time I looked for a Filipino community paper and never found any, [...]

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Page added on September 29, 2012

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Kuya Bong’s Kusina

by:  F.V. DECENA
The Philippines has an abundance of green leafy vegetables and for our FEATURE this month, I would like to share with our readers one of my favorite green leafy vegetable, none other than SALUYOT or  JUTE leaves. WHY SALUYOT?  What are the benefits we get from eating saluyot?

Saluyot or jute plant is so common in the Philippines that it does not need to be propagated, it is just like other weeds thriving in non cultivated open fields as well as tilled farmlands. They come in green or red variety.

It grows well in warm, tropical weather. It is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in vitamins and mineralsthat its benefits are worth considering, than shunning the slimy characteristic of this vegetable when cooked.

Its vitamin content is good for eyesight, as the vegetable contains beta-carotene. Its iron and calcium content necessarily aids a person in maintaining strong bones and teeth, and a healthy count of red blood cells.

Saluyot has been used to reduce wrinkles, as it also contains anti-oxidant substances. Studies have also shown that saluyot can be used for anti-inflammatory treatment.

It is to be noted that saluyot has been used traditionally to address concerns related to inflammation and pain, and the results of recent studies confirmed the validity of such traditional practice.

Saluyot has also been connected with curing the chronic inflammation of the urinary bladder. To prepare its medical decoction, an individual is advised to eat dishes and soups that contain saluyot.

Though saluyot is known as poor man’s vegetable, it is one if not the most nutritious vegetable in the Philippines.

According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FRNI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), one-half cup cooked saluyot leaves (45g) is equivalent to 20 kilocalories and it will provide the following amount of nutrients:

Protein – 1.30 grams; Calcium – 87.3 milligrams; Phosphorus – 22.5 milligrams; Iron – 1.0 milligrams;Beta carotene – 1334 micrograms; Thiamine – 0.02 milligrams; Riboflavin – 0.04 milligrams; Niacin – 0.30 milligrams; and Abscorbic acid – 10 milligrams; Fat – 0.30 grams; Carbohydrates – 3.1 gram; Fiber – 0.40 grams; Retinol Equivalent (vitamin A) – 222 micrograms

Moreover, saluyot has an antioxidant activity of 77% or α-tocopherol equivalent (vitamin E) of 48.9. In other words, saluyot contains all the important nutrients needed by the body.   (source:

Here are some of the popular recipes that you can make with SALUYOT. Try one of these in your own kitchen and enjoy the delicious flavor and also the healthy benefits of this green leafy vegetable:

Inabrao (Dinengdeng) Saluyot and Green Papaya Recipe

Having roots of an Ilocano mother, I had a taste of saluyot since I was a young kid.  And one of the most popular dish in the north is the Inabrao. I’d like to share with you the simplest way of preparing Inabrao.

Inabrao is a very simple dish that involves no-fuss cooking even if you are using a lot of different kinds of ingredients as the process only need to boil it altogether. Saluyot is more commonly combined with labong or shredded bamboo shoots but in the absence of labong other veggies can also be combined like string beans or green papaya. For this inabrao recipe I used saluyot leaves, green papaya and fillet of fried fish.

2 medium bundles of saluyot leaves, thoroughly washed
1 small green papaya, peeled and sliced
Fillet bits of fried fish
1/4 cup anchovy sauce (increase if desired)
Kalamansi (citrus) or lemon

Cooking Instructions:
Fill a pot with half liter of water and bring to boil. Add anchovy paste and cover for 2 minutes. Add green papaya, when half-cooked add the saluyot leaves and fish fillet, then follow with lemon juice. Let boil until saluyot is cook.

Grilled fish superbly complements this dinengdeng recipe but since we do not have the luxury to grill, fried fish is the next best option.


Saluyot at Hipon (jute leaves and shrimp soup)


3-4 cups of jute leaves
1/4 kilo of shrimp (head and skin removed)
4 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
half thumb size of ginger (crushed)
2 chili pepper
salt & pepper to taste
3-4 cups of water


Boil water in a casserole.
Add the garlic, onion and ginger. Let it boil for 2 minutes.
Add the shrimp,chili pepper, salt & pepper and continue boiling for 5 minutes.
Then add the jutes leaves and continue boiling for 2 more minutes.
Ready to serve.

Alimango sa Labong at Saluyot with Gata (Crabs with Bamboo Shoots & Jute Mallows)

Alimango sa Labong at Saluyot with Gata (Crabs with Bamboo Shoots and Jute Mallows)

The crab meat has delicate flavour with a hint of sweetness and, combined with labong (bamboo shoots), saluyot (jute leaves) and gata, a perfect seafoods meal in the Philippines.


In a pot of lightly salted boiling water, drop the fresh bamboo shoots and cook for about five minutes. Drain and rinse with tap water.

In the same pot, pour in the second press coconut milk (about 4 cups) and 1 cup water together with the blanched bamboo shoots, shucked corn, quartered tomatoes and sliced white onions. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the bamboo shoots are tender to the bite, about 10 minutes.

Season to taste with sea salt and add the crabs, saluyot leaves and the pure coconut cream. Give it a stir. Bring to a simmer. Cover and turn off the heat. Let it sit for about five minutes.

Serve immediately. Perfect with hot boiled rice and fried fish with sawsawan.



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