Celebrity chef Amy Beh offers three ways to cook luffa gourd

Luffa and fungus stir-fry.
Luffa and fungus stir-fry.PHOTO: C. JASON

(THE STAR / ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Luffa has both food and medicinal attributes, so why aren’t we eating more of this gourd? Here are some recipes to get you started.
 

FUNGUS & LUFFA STIR-FRY

INGREDIENTS

250g luffa gourd
40g carrot, cut into desired shapes
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 thin slices ginger
7g woodear fungus, soaked and cut into florets
100g brown shimeji mushrooms, ends trimmed
2 egg whites

Seasoning
1 Tbsp premium oyster sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
1/8 tsp pepper
sugar to taste
150ml water or chicken stock

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METHOD 

1. Trim away the ridges on the luffa and peel away the skin – leaving some green parts for colour if you like. Cut into wedges.

2. Blanch the luffa and carrot briefly in boiling water – about a minute. Dish out and set aside.

3. Heat the oil and sesame oil in a wok. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the fungus and shimeji, followed by the luffa and carrot. Stir-fry briskly over high heat for 1 minute. Lower heat to medium and add in seasoning.

4. Stir in egg white and toss briefly. Turn off heat, dish out and serve.


Braised fish tail with luffa. PHOTO: C. JASON

BRAISED FISH TAIL WITH LUFFA 

INGREDIENTS

300g garoupa fish tail
300g luffa gourd
2 medium large prawns
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp shredded ginger
1 litre water
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and halved
20g carrot, cut into desired shapes
1 Tbsp wolfberries

Seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar or to taste
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1/2 tsp pepper

METHOD

1. Rinse fish tail and make 2 to 3 cuts on the fish.

2. Trim away the ridges on the luffa and peel away the skin – leaving some green parts for colour if you like. Cut into wedges. Trim feelers of prawns and devein.

3. Heat wok with adequate oil and sesame oil. Saute ginger and garlic till fragrant. Add in the fish and shallow-fry over medium high heat on both sides until fragrant and lightly browned. Dish out and set aside.

4. Pour in water and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, carrot and luffa wedges and cook until it comes to a boil.

5. Return fish to the wok and add in the prawns and wolfberries. Add seasoning to taste. Cook until it comes to a boil again.

6. Turn off heat, dish out and serve hot.


Luffa boat. PHOTO: C. JASON

LUFFA BOAT

INGREDIENTS

400g luffa gourd
1 Tbsp oil
chicken stock powder for sprinkling

Meatballs
1 tube Japanese egg tofu
100g chicken meat, minced
4 Tbsp cornflour

Seasoning
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp cornflour
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Gravy
150ml chicken stock or water
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
1/2 tsp pepper
sugar to taste
1 tsp cornflour

METHOD

For the luffa boat

1. Trim away the ridges on the luffa and peel away the skin – leaving some green parts for colour if you like. Cut luffa into half lengthwise and into 5cm length pieces.

2. Add the oil in a wok and stir-fry luffa pieces briefly over medium high heat. Sprinkle a little chicken stock powder over when stir-frying. Dish out and arrange on a serving plate.

For the meatballs

1. Mash the tofu with a fork and mix with the minced meat.

2. Add in seasoning. Stir to mix well and shape the mixture into small balls.

3. Coat the balls with cornflour then deep-fry in medium hot oil till golden brown. Remove from oil and arrange the meatballs on top of the luffa.

For the gravy

1. Bring chicken stock or water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients, seasoning to taste. Stir briefly, until the gravy thickens. Pour the gravy over the luffa and meatballs. Serve immediately.