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Friday, April 18, 2008

Stir-Fried Sequa

Sequa squash.

Otherwise known by its Latin name Luffa Acutangula, Loofah Squash, Chinese Okra, or a myriad other names all over the world. When raised to maturity, it can be dried and used as a body scrub. But if harvested when still young, its flesh is sweet and can be used as a vegetable in many different, delicious ways.

The trick to finding a good, young sequa is to pick it up in your hand and press against one of the ridges with your thumb. If the ridge bends under pressure, the squash is too old. Put it down and choose another one. If the ridge snaps off crisply where your thumb is pressing, put it in your basket. Remember, you break it, you buy it! :-) Now, choose two more like that one.

When you get them home, wash the sequa and then peel off the ridges and any tough skin with a vegetable peeler. You could cut them into coins or you could slice them lengthwise and then make large dice. Other ingredients in the recipe are:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/3 lb shrimp (peeled)
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
salt and ground white pepper


In a large non-stick pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the shrimp and stir fry until the shrimp starts to turn orange. Toss in the sequa and stir fry for a few minutes until they are softened.

Add in the fish sauce and the soy sauce. Adjust the seasoning with salt and ground white pepper to taste. Finally, pour in the beaten eggs and stir to combine, allowing the heat to firm up the eggs around the vegetable.

Eat it hot over steamed rice.