Monday, June 25, 2012

Ulasimang Bato Side Dish

If you're into gardening, why not be among the first to cultivate Ulasimang Bato or commonly known as Pansit-Pansitan. It's easy to grow anyway; they easily thrive on damp places like damp rocks or stone walls or floors. They grow wild and spread fast so you don't have to care much for them. When harvest time comes, you can enjoy your Ulasiman Bato side dish with your fried fish or pork.

I like its other name--Ikmo-Ikmohan. I used to create stories about an old man "Ikmo" who fell in love with a young, pretty girl. Anyway, Ulasimang Bato or Shiny Bush, when mature, grows tiny seeds on long, slender stems which easily fall off to start new sprouts. The plant looks like young mongo sprouts, standing erect though small, with both rounded leaves and white noodle-like stems shiny. Thus, it's also called Pansit-Pansitan because of its noodle-like, white stems.

How to Grow These Wild Mini Bush

It's a wild plant that likes thriving in damp areas. So, if it's wild, how do you "grow" it? Pile rocks somewhere in your garden or have a low concrete barrier constructed there where it will be naturally damp. Or, look for where Pansit-Pansitan already grows in abundance and transfer the rocks to your garden. Or, have a concrete canal constructed in your garden where clean water runs. Soon, you'd see the wild bush growing after some algae have formed. Then you'd soon enjoy your own Ulasimang Bato side dish.

Why Grow It?

Why grow it? To make sure you enjoy clean and safe Ulasimang Bato, you'd have to grow them somewhere clean. Some folks here in Deep Asia get them from vacant lots or street canals, wash them, and eat them or boil them for the medicinal brew. The problem with this is, we don't know whether the wild bush, freely exposed from the elements, is contaminated or not.

Who knows if cats or dogs urinate on them (worse, if they have been exposed to rat urine) or if some other contaminants have marred their safeness? So, look for where the bush already grows, get those rocks on which they have clung to, transfer them to your garden, and wait for the next sprouting batch to turn up and start growing that.

How Does Ulasimang Bato Taste?

Then you'd be able to harvest safe and healthy Pansit-Pansitan and enjoy your Ulasimang Bato side dish. Just wash the stems and enjoy their crunchy, succulent quality with your fried fish. They taste like steamed mongo sprouts, only sweeter. And you'd love how easily they crunch between your teeth and how the sweet juice splashes in your mouth.

Or brew it together with the leaves for a detox tea that many claim can heal kidney stone and UTI problems. You want to get rid of your gout or other similar joint inflammations? Try Ulasimang Bato tea.

Nutrition

Pansit-Pansitan is said to be high in fiber and minerals like iron, manganese, zinc. sodium, and copper. As far as phytochemicals are concerned, it has cardenolides, tannins, saponins, and alkaloids--good antioxidants. What does this mean? They can be good help for healing inflammation, cancer, fungus and also serve as an analgesic. It has other medicinal uses, but to me it's best as Ulasimang Bato side dish that should be enjoyed more often and by more people. So grow them in your garden.

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