Learn everything about Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) including its benefits, flowers, seeds, and Purslane recipes. This edible weed is a highly nutritious vegetable that’s good for you, we’ll show you how to make a healthy purslane salad with a step-by-step guide.
What is Purslane Plant?
Also called common purslane, purslane is an annual succulent. It’s a weedy plant that’s naturalized in most parts of the world. It can thrive in poor soil, and you can find them in many cultivated fields, roadsides or even home gardens.
Purslane has small yellow flowers with 5 petals and yellow stamens. The plant blossoms from midsummer through early fall. The flower buds, leaves, and stems are all edible. It can be cooked as a vegetable and is great for recipes like salad, stir-fry, and sandwiches. (Below is a photo of the purslane plant growing in my garden.)
Purslane Benefits and Nutrition
Purslane is far more nutritious than most of the crops we plant, and is actually considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. Key nutrients and health benefits include:
- Loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids.
- It’s also rich in various antioxidants with a high level of vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin C. It has 6 times more vitamin E than spinach.
- High in important minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. As a result, it helps regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
How to Eat Edible Purslane Weeds
The easiest way to eat purslane is to use it in a simple purslane salad. All you need is garlic, green onions, sugar, salt, pepper, oil, and optional chili pepper. Watch our video on how to make purslane salad.
1. Once you harvest the plant, you’ll need to wash individual stems thoroughly. The leaves, stems, and flower buds are all edible.
2. Gather all the ingredients on the counter.
3. In the boiling water, add a pinch of salt, and then add purslane. Cook for 1 minute.
4. Remove the purslane to a plate.
5. In a skillet over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add garlic, green onions, optional red chili peppers, sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
6. Add the garlic mixture to the purslane. Toss the salad and enjoy!
Pro Tips: Although you can eat purslane raw, a quick blanching makes the leafy purslane much more palatable.
More Purslane Recipes
Purslane can be enjoyed raw or cooked, just like spinach. Besides purslane salad, here are some delicious purslane recipes:
- Purslane Omelettes
- Steamed Purslane
- Grilled Cheese and Purslane Sandwich
- Garlic Sautéed Purslane
- Pasta with Garlic and Purslane
You can also add it as a green topping for taco, soup, stews, and dips.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Purslane Taste Like?
Raw purslane is crunchy and tart. Once cooked, it tastes somewhat like a cross between okra and spinach.
What Part of Purslane is Edible?
Once you remove the root, other parts are mostly edible: leaves, stems, and flower buds. Yong flower buds with unripe white seeds are completely edible. Once the seeds turn black, they’ll come out easily when you rinse the purslane in the water.
How to Grow Purslane?
Find an area with part to full sun and scatter the seeds. Don’t cover the seeds with soil as purslane seeds need light to germinate. Purslane plants are not picky about soil, but they tend to grow better in drier soil.
Is Purslane Invasive?
Purslane will grow and spread fast, and possibly take over an area if it’s not managed properly. But if you like to eat purslane, and make it into delicious dishes frequently, you can definitely keep it under control.
If You Like This Recipe Try These Out:
Purslane Salad Recipe (+VIDEO)
- 4 cups purslane
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 stalk green onion
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- chili pepper (optional, if you don’t like spicy food, you can skip this ingredient)
- Wash individual stems thoroughly. You can break bigger stems into smaller pieces.
- Gather all the ingredients on the counter.
- In the boiling water, add a pinch of salt, and then add purslane. Cook for 1 minute.
- Remove the purslane to a plate.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.
- Once hot, add garlic, green onions, optional red chili peppers, sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the garlic mixture to the purslane. Toss the salad and enjoy!
- You can also eat raw purslane, but I find 1-minute blanching makes it taste much better.