Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chayote Salad - Squash, Buddha's Palms (Hands), Longevity Gourd - so many names

Other than kale, another vegetable/plant or fruit which I have discovered recently is Chayote. In Chinese, they are called 佛手瓜 (pronounced Fuo Zhang Gua) which literally translates to Buddha's Palms (Hands); or 合掌瓜 (He Zhang Gua), literally meaning Clenched Palms(Fists); or 寿瓜 (Shou Gua), literally meaning Longevity Gourd. Wow, this vegetable of the gourd family has so many good, meaningful names to it - IT MUST BE one good of a vegetable. Tightly close your palm now, does it look like this?

The texture of chayote is lightly crisp and crunchy - similiar to asian pear or cucumber. This vegetable can be eaten raw as a fruit, or cooked in many ways. Naturally refreshing and subtly sweet, chayote is best cooked , simply. Salads, stir-fries, soups - ways without interfering with the natural sweet flavors.

Chayote is also relatively high (higher compared to most vegetables) in potassium and phosphorus - these are trace minerals essential to normal body functions. You need potassium to balance the pH of your body, muscle growth and healthy nervous system and brain function.


Chayote Salad with Five-Spice Marinated Tofu (佛手瓜拌香干)
Ingredients: 1 chayote, peeled, thinly sliced or shredded; 1 cup shredded carrots; half block of five-spice marinated tofu, thinly sliced; pinch of salt; 1/4-1/2 tsp white pepper; 1/2 tsp of sesame oil

Directions: Blanched the chayote and carrots, set aside. In a deep bowl, toss the shredded chayote, carrots and tofu with sesame oil, salt and white pepper. Serve with warm congee or steamed rice.

This goes to Haalo of Cook Almost Anything for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging.

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Chayote Salad With Five-Spice Marinated Tofu (佛手瓜拌香干)