Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Loofah (Luffa) with Ginkgo and Mushrooms

I know some of you don't enjoy eating loofah (luffa) or cooking loofah (luffa) as a dish, based on the comments gathered in my loofah (luffa) posts . Maybe it is that spongy texture and feeling that you dislike, just like how some people dislike sea cucumber due to its gelatinous slimy feel ? I enjoy sea cucumber and loofah, both totally different tasting and textured ingredients but end up priceless for me as food. Loofah (luffa) has got its reputation as anti-aging (or beauty) food due to the Vitamin Bs' content, Vitamin C and minerals. According to Chinese classification of healing food, loofah (luffa) is a "cooling" food - it clears away "heatiness" in your body, reduces phlegm, "cleanses" the blood ("detox" the body). Good yea?

Other than loofah (luffa) soups that I enjoy, and a simple stir-fry (with shrimps and drizzle of sesame oil) that some of my readers have inspired me to try, this is another wholesome recipe of mine - Loofah with Ginkgo and Oyster Mushrooms. Very simple too - three ingredients, absolutely delicious and totally vegetarian.


Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba) is known to treat memory loss and slow down aging of the brain. It also contains flavonoids and terpenoids antioxidants. Better yea? And mushrooms - have minerals such as potassium and selenium that keep regular bodily functions in check. Best yea? All very healthful.

Loofah (Luffa) with Gingko and Mushrooms -  丝瓜白果炒菇 
Ingredients: 2-3 thin slices of ginger; luffa, peeled and sliced into slightly thick chunks; oyster mushrooms (note: try other fresh mushrooms as a variation), roughly sliced; ready-to-use ginkgo (store-bought, usually in a sealed pack or can);  3-4 tbsp water; drizzle of sesame oil; salt and white pepper to taste

Directions: Heat a little sesame oil in the pan and fry the ginger till fragrant. Add luffa and mushrooms, and mix well. Add water (so that mixture does not dry up so fast), and allow the mixture to come to a slight simmer, then add in ginkgo. When the luffa is almost cooked (turns slightly soft), add salt and white pepper to taste and finish off with a drizzle of sesame oil. (note1: Do not overcook luffa. You can identify overcooked luffa when it turns brown. note2: I intentionally wanted more gravy for this dish - so I added more water and did not reduce the gravy further  You can add less water if you prefer a drier mixture)

The loofah goodness goes to Yasmeen - Healthnut, the host for Weekend Herb Blogging this week. I hope more people get to know this lovely ingredient and try it when they see it, find it and don't forget this member of the squash family.

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