Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Loofah, ridge gourd - tips + basic recipe

Indeed, I had a ridge gourd coming my way...

Look at the undulated ridges...

Ridge gourd is known by many other names. The most common is Loofah, or Luffa. Ridge gourd (丝瓜 - Si Gua, in Mandarin) is popular and eaten as a vegetable in Asia. It usually ends up as a simple stir fry with pork, at least in my kitchen. Loofah loofah, 一路发 ...ridge gourd ridge gourd, the rich god. Are all these just too coincidental ?

Tips on
ridge gourd + easy basic recipe:
1. Before cooking this gourd, you should remove the outer skin and use the edible "white flesh" for cooking your dish. One full gourd typically leaves you with 3/4 remaining(usable) after removing the skin and "ridges".
2. Cut them into half-a-finger-length-and-width strips, or about half-a-thumb-size cubes. It cooks faster without being overly done under the heat.
3. When frying and cooking, you will know it is cooked when the "white flesh" turns slightly green. Do not cook for too long or the whole mixture will turn too soft and soggy
4. Like a loofah sponge, it absorbs water. So while cooking, you can add a few tablespoons of water in the stir-fry for the final simmer.
5. The recommended seasoning to flavor up a Chinese stir fry with ridge gourd is oyster sauce.
6. Easy ingredients: Minced garlic, ridge gourd strips or cubes, pork strips or cubes (gourd strips with pork strips, or gourd cubes with pork cubes, if you know what I mean) marinated with some rice wine, some oyster sauce, white pepper to taste, water
7. Easy directions: In a wok/pan with oil at low-medium heat, add in garlic and pork, then fry till pork almost changes color (~60-70% cooked). Add in ridge gourd and mix well. Then, add in water + oyster sauce, and allow simmer till the gourd cooks completely(about 6-8mins). Dash in white pepper, to taste.
8. In this stir fry, the final mixture should be a bit wet, not totally dry.

Now, I have a rich god, and a fairy god mother, my wish my wish...I wish for my wish!

Did you just use a ridge gourd to exfoilate or maybe a loofah in a cooked dish ? :D

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