Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chinese Okra Egg-Drop Soup, 丝瓜蛋花汤

Of all the names I have used to introduce loofah/luffa - a type of melon/gourd, I did not mention anything about Chinese Okra. So, this name Chinese Okra is popularly used in the US - in some Bay Area's farmers' markets, local grocery store - Sprouts Farmers Market and even in the "Chopped" Series. Other than being similar shaped to the other okra we all know, the taste and texture are no where near.

I like to use Chinese Okra in a simple stir-fry (with a mild simmer) most of the times; and in soups (above). Chinese Okra should not be overcooked in a stir-fry (as if what vegetables should). Ok - what I meant is: Note: Chinese Okra cook quite easily, so make sure you eye-ball the cooking process. Perfectly cooked Chinese Okra should be pale-whitish-green (not brown; turned from its raw lightly jade-green), tenderly soft, almost silky-spongy, and mild refreshingly sweet.

Chinese Okra Egg-Drop Soup, 丝瓜蛋花汤
Ingredients: 1 Chinese Okra, peel the skin and slice the melon into thin strips; 1/2 tomato, sliced to bite-size; 1 clove garlic, finely minced; 1 slice of ginger, finely minced; 1-2 cups water/broth; 1 egg, lightly whisked; salt and white pepper to taste; drizzle of sesame oil

Directions: In a soup pot, add a little oil, add in garlic and ginger and fry till fragrant. Add in tomato and fry briskly till juice is released. Add in Chinese Okra, mix well, then add some water/broth and allow the entire mixture to come to a slight simmer. Simmer at low heat till Chinese Okra turned tender soft and is cooked. Salt and white pepper to taste. Turn off heat and immediately, slowly stir in whisked egg to create egg-drop swirls. Drizzle a little sesame oil over the soup and serve warm.

Let's eat to better health and beauty. ^o^

This soup goes to SouperSundays at Kahakai Kitchen.

Loofah (luffa) or Chinese Okra has its reputation as anti-aging (or beauty) food due to the Vitamin Bs' content, Vitamin C and variety of 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?

What name do you know this vegetable/squash as, at where you are living, if you have seen it?

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