Coccinia grandis, known as tam leung here in Thailand, is a tropical vine grown for its small leaves and tender stems. Much like a tasty weed since it seems to pop up all over our garden here in Chiang Mai, and then climb high into anything its tendrils can latch onto. The young shoots and leaves are often added to that indespensible part of Thai cuisine, and ever present snack, kwei dtiao nam [ก๋วยเตี๋ยวน้ำ] - which curilously is the only Thai food consumed regularly with chopsticks. This tasty noodle soup was introduced by Chinese immigrants, and chopsticks were evidently part of the entire package.
This is a photo of coccinia leaves, battered and fried, with a topping of fried shrimp, in a dish known here simply as 'tam leung'. A personal favorite.