Hed Chef

Make a refreshing chayote salad

A chayote salad tossed in a spicy coconut oil and coriander dressing.
A chayote salad tossed in a spicy coconut oil and coriander dressing.PHOTO: HEDY KHOO / THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Tired of the same old vegetables in your salad?

Try chayote, a member of the gourd family. The light green pear-shaped fruit is referred to as Buddha's hand gourd in Chinese and is also known as choko.

The chayote has a long history. It originated in Mesoamerica and was cultivated by the Aztecs.

After the conquest of Mexico, the chayote spread rapidly - cultivated and eaten in Spain, North America, Southeast Asia and China.

But it took a little longer for chayote to reach me. To be exact, it was only last week that I got round to buying it.

It is a versatile fruit.

It can be sliced and stir-fried, boiled in soups or even eaten raw, as I did. It has a light and crunchy texture, like a cross between jicama and apple.

If you are gearing up for the festive season, this refreshing salad might be just the dish to make you feel less guilty about the feasting ahead. It can also make an attractive starter or side dish for any parties you are hosting.


Want crunch in your salad? Try chayote, it's really gourd
Make a refreshing chayote salad. PHOTO: HEDY KHOO/THE NEW PAPER

INGREDIENTS

Makes six servings

1 chayote (500g)
1 green mango (250g)
1 carrot (100g)
½ yellow bell pepper (100g)
½ red bell pepper (100g)
1 red onion (100g)

For the salad dressing:
200g limes
2 garlic cloves, pounded into paste
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 Tbs coconut oil
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
20g coriander, coarsely chopped

METHOD

1. Peel and shred the chayote, green mango and carrot.
2. Thinly slice the yellow bell pepper, the red bell pepper and red onion.
3. Place the chayote, green mango, carrot, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper and onion in a bowl. Set aside while you prepare the salad dressing.
4. Cut each lime in half. Squeeze the juice into a bowl. Remove the seeds.
5. Pour the lime juice into a bowl.
6. Add the garlic paste, dried chilli flakes, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, sugar and salt.
7. Whisk briskly until the mixture is amalgamated.
8. Add the chopped coriander and mix gently.
9. Pour the salad dressing over the vegetables when ready to serve.
10. Toss and mix well before eating.