Burmese Style Navelwort Salad

This recipe was inspired by a conversation with a reader called Rachel who spends half her time in Burma as a conflict analyst.

If you’ve ever been to Burma you will have experienced the wide array of salads. One in particular is their pennywort salad called Min kwa yuet which uses Burmese pennywort (Centella asiatica), a member of the Apiaceae family. Also known as gotu kola.

As inspiration from my conversation with Rachel, I took the Burmese pennywort and replaced it with our own native navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris) a member of the Crassulaceae family.

If you’ve ever eaten gotu kola leaves you’ll know they have an aromatic and herby flavour. Even though our own navelwort is not aromatic this inspired recipe turned out really well.


  • 100g navelwort
  • 50g three cornered leek or spring onions
  • 1 lime juiced
  • lime zest
  • 3 tbsp sesame or groundnut oil
  • 1 tsp miso, I like Hodmedod’s fermented fava bean paste
  • 1 green chilli (finely chopped)
  • 2 raw garlic cloves  (finely chopped)
  • 100g roasted peanuts roughly ground up


  1. Put the navelwort into a mortar. Finely chop up the three cornered leek, garlic and chilli and add to the mortar along with the roasted peanuts and lie zest.
  2. Put the oil and miso into a bowl and whisk until mixed well.
  3. With the pestle bash the salad greens until broken up. You don’t want a puree just roughly bashed.
  4. Spoon into bowls and dress with the oil and miso.

Serves: 2 as a starter or side salad.

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