Water spinach has thin, hollow stems with long, flat, arrowhead-shaped leaves. Leaves range in size from one to six inches in length and up to three inches in diameter depending on the plant's maturity. Water spinach has a similar flavor and succulent texture to common spinach, with mild, nutty undertones. Its young shoots and leaves are preferred to mature leaves as they are texturally more tender and sweeter in taste.
Water spinach is utilized in many standard Asian cooking methods, particularly stir fry with garlic and chiles, steamed to accompany soup, even tempura battered and fried. The hollow stems can also be cooked on their own as a crunchy side dish.