When my family and I first arrived in Australia from refugee camps in Hong Kong in 1979, we felt so blessed and grateful that we finally had a safe haven.
We were living in a migrant hostel in Fairy Meadow down the south coast of NSW. Australia had just come out of the White Australia policy and wasn’t as culturally diverse as it is today. We were part of the early arrivals of refugees from Vietnam.
The availability of ingredients for our Vietnamese dishes was very limited. After the first few months, my family had managed to save up enough to buy a rice cooker. That, for us, was amazing. We were thrilled to be able to cook rice. But what could we cook to go alongside it?
It was a while before we found Asian greens for sale, at one small local Asian grocery store. And they had water spinach. It was cheap and affordable but it was also delicious.