Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Most of the people I know "looks down" on this vegetable. They do not consider Chayote or Mirliton pear (locally known as Sayote) a good veggie. A friend even told me that Chayote does not contain any nutrition, it is just all water. In my family, we do not cook this often, because, as regular readers know, Hubby considers only vegetables that are "green" and "leafy" as true vegetables. Chayotes are also bland tasting, so aside from using them as meal extenders (i.e. for decoration or texture), I do not know what else to do with them.
Perpectives change of course. I have read from magazines about chayote fries, which are a lot better and healthier than the starchy french fries. I have read that chayotes can replace apples in apple pies. But I was convinced when a grandmother (lola) brought this dish to school (where our children and in her case, grandchildren go), to share in our weekly lunch potluck. Wow! Her stir fry chayote dish is so flavorful and yummy. All the mommies (and grandmas) were literally digging into her dish non-stop. :)
Aside from being yummy and inexepensive, I also found out that chayotes are rich in amino acids and vitamin C. So now, there is no reason why chayotes should not be served more often. Here is lola's recipe for Chayote Stir-fry:
2 pcs chayote, halved, seed removed, then sliced
200 gms shrimps, shelled, chopped
100 gms lean ground pork
4 T cooking oil
2 slices ginger
4 T garlic, minced
4 tomatoes, seeded, chopped
dash of fish sauce (patis)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Save the shells of the shrimps. Pound them with a little water (1 to 2 Tablespoons) to extract juice. Save the juice, discard the shells.
2. Heat up the cooking oil in a wok. Add the ginger and saute until fragrant. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant but not burnt. Add in the tomatoes and cook for a while, until some juices come out (around 2 to 3 minutes).
3. Add in the ground pork. Cook until meat changes color. Add in the shrimps and shrimp juice. When the shrimps changes color, add in the sliced chayotes. Mix everything up for a while and make sure all the chayote slices are covered with the sauce. Add in a dash or two of fish sauce (patis). Mix again and cover until chayotes are cooked and softened.
4. Adjust seasoning - salt and pepper, to taste. Dish up and serve hot with rice.
Being the lazy cook that I am, I omitted the first step of extracting the juices from the shells. :) The dish still tastes delicious. Of course with the added shimp juice, lola's dish was more flavorful than mine.
Sharing this dish with the featured Chayote to the Weekend Herb Blogging community. This foodie event was launched by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen to feature herbs and unique plant ingredients around the world and the dishes we prepare using these ingredients. This week's host is Zorra from Kochtopf . To see last week's featured plants and dishes, please see Gretchen's Canela Y Comino.