I am hoping somebody could help me identify the name of a type of topping that goes with the congee that my grandma would give me as a kid.

She didn't know English and had passed away years ago. I am unable to read or write in Chinese and can only speak Cantonese, but I know it used to be pronounced something like "ma yip", the "ma" sounds like the "ma yao" in sesame oil and the "yip" sounds like leaf. I have tried asking my parents but they don't know the English name nor what the Chinese spelling would be.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a cellphone back then so I don't have any pictures to show, but I remember it would look like shriveled up leaves and would taste salty (so goes well with congee). It looks sort of like the leafy bits of stir-fried ong choy (without the thick stem).

I have tried googling general "congee toppings" although I couldn't see anything similar to what I described (Perhaps it's not mainstream enough?). I also tried googling "ma yip" since I was able to find "ong choy", however "ma yip" doesn't give me anything useful. Any help would be very appreciated, as I haven't had this since I was a child and would love to eat this again!

EDIT: My grandparents were from Chao Zhou if that helps any. My mom said this type of topping was unique to Chao Zhou and that only the older people liked it (it was not popular with younger generations)

4 Answers 4


...pronounced something like "ma yip", the "ma" sounds like the "ma yao" in sesame oil and the "yip" sounds like leaf.

The word is「麻葉」(maa4 jip6), and is indeed a Chaoshan dish.

See 潮汕麻葉配番薯粥 for a Chinese description.

NOTE: If you want to Google「麻葉」, you should either (1) set your language to Chinese only, or add a character like「粥」(congee) after it.

Unfortunately,「麻葉」is also the name of a popular Sushi store in Japan.

  • 1
    indeed, a search of “麻葉” + “潮州粥” would trigger the proper answer, with photos :) Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 13:19
  • @droooze Thank you!! I do have a follow up question though, google translate gives me the word "hemp" so are they the leaves of this?
    – Flaminko
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 18:15
  • @Flaminko 麻葉 is not hemp - very unfortunately, the dish and hemp share the same name. See Ken's answer, which I think has the correct scientific name of the plant.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 19:49

This one? enter image description here All related material about this seasoning are in Chinese, can only find this one in wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocynum_venetum


enter image description here

i guess it is ganlancai(橄榄菜)which is popular in guangdong

  • Unfortunately no, a website described ganlancai as a mix of minced green olive and chinese mustard greens, I recall the thing I had were only leaves, and the individual leaves were small enough not to need cutting/dicing into smaller pieces. Also a lot of images look like they were soaked in some sort of liquid, the thing I had starts out very dry and only gets wet because of the congee. I asked my mom and both my grandparents were from Chao Zhou if that helps any.
    – Flaminko
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 2:46
  • it must be suancai(酸菜)!
    – CZ_want2b
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 6:43
  • @Flamink check this website:image.baidu.com/search/…
    – CZ_want2b
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 6:43

Would it be 馬齒莧? I don't know about adding it to congee, but it is great for making soup enter image description here

  • Sorry, the leaves look a bit too small. The closest thing I could compare it to is that it looks like stir-fried ong choy but without those thick round stems (like if you just took the dark leafy part)
    – Flaminko
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 3:09

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