Thanks to Ivy of Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living, now I know that this funny looking vegetable is called Chayote Shoots or Dragon Whiskers. I used to see this weird looking vegetable at the supermarket aisle and it reminded me of the alien in Predator. I think it is the curly tendrils that made this vegetable look so alien-like to me.
I also see Chayote Shoots sold at the "chap fan" (mixed rice) stall but I did not dare to try it lest I might not like the taste. But after reading Ivy's post, I was convinced that I would enjoy this nutritious green vegetable just as I do any greens. I love green leafy vegetables simply stir fried with garlic and salt.
I followed Ivy's recipe except that I pounded the dried prawns with the garlic and chillies. I find that Chayote Shoots have a tougher texture unlike spinach or mustard greens and therefore need slightly longer cooking time. The stems at the lower end are tough and fibrous and I discarded them.
I will have to agree with Ivy that this vegetable is indeed very tasty! And I am no longer afraid of it :) Ivy mentioned that it has anti-inflammatory properties and that should be good for me as my doctor prescribed me with anti-inflammatory medication to heal my slipped disc. Better to go the natural way than taking prescription drugs. I'll be looking out for this curious looking Chayote Shoots again at Aeon. I think it would also be delicious fried with belacan. Can't wait to try that!
I'm so fascinated with the curlies.
Stir Fried Chayote Shoots
Recipe source : Adapted from Ivy of Simply Beautiful and Healthy Living
- 1 bunch Chayote Shoots (250g), tough stems removed
- 5 big cloves garlic (I love my garlic!)
- 1 red cili padi
- 1 heaped tablespoon dried prawns (soaked and rinsed)
- Fish sauce or salt to taste
- extra cili padi, sliced for garnishing
1. Wash and rinse Chayote Shoots and cut to desired length.
2. Pound garlic, dried prawns and cili padi.
3. Heat oil in wok and saute the pounded ingredients until aromatic.
4. Add the Chayote Shoots and sprinkle some water for moisture.
5. Stir fry until the vegetable is tender. Season with salt or fish sauce to taste.
6. Serve immediately.
Note : I covered the vegetable to let simmer and stirred every now and then till tender.