Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sautéed Angled Luffa & Eggs (serves 2 as part of a shared meal)

 Every time I visit relatives in Vietnam, I also visit my favorite local open market near my grandparents' home.  The beauty about this market and similar markets found all over Southeast Asia is that everyone sells just a small amount of produce and they are all very fresh.  In fact the produce were handpicked that morning.  It is best to shop at such a market as early as possible to ensure the highest quality ingredients available for your next meal.  

On one visit I bought so many of these angled luffa that the seller wanted to know if these are available in the States.  I informed her that some places in the States do not carry them in the market, however, where I live these are available but not as fresh or as good as hers!  The seller offered to peel the tough ridges and gave me scallions and garlic for no additional fee. What a bargain!  

This is one of my favorite gourd/squash vegetables.  Here is a typical way my family likes to prepare these sweet tasting luffa.  The unique quality of this luffa is that it does not become mushy after cooking.  Often times my parents add pork, shrimp or both to this dish. However, you may omit any of these ingredients.

Sautéed Angled Luffa & Eggs

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 angled luffa, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 1 1/2 lbs peeled and cut up)
3 lightly beaten eggs
1/3 C water or chicken broth
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar

Method:

1) Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
2) Once the pan is hot, add garlic and scallions.  Saute for about a minute.
3) Add the luffa and water or broth, saute for about 8-10 minutes or until the luffa slices are soft.
4) Mix the eggs, fish sauce, sesame oil and sugar together, pour this mixture over the pan.
5) Stir quickly until all the egg mixture is cooked (about a minute) and turn off heat.
6) Garnish with uncooked luffa slices and extra scallions slices if desired, serve hot.

these luffa can grow very long,
I broke these in half so
I could carry them home
*Cut and save a few slices of the whole angled luffa for a beautiful garnish for your dish later!
*Since the luffa is already slightly sweet you can omit the sugar in this dish.
*The luffa can be found in Asian markets.  Most Asian markets in Boston carry them.

*4/28/15 addendum: I always try to improve my blog. Here I updated a photo for this recipe.

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