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Edible...Loofah

  • h

Today I learned that loofah is edible.

This blog entry details an interesting recipe:
http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.c...

and, I'm wondering what other recipes exist...and how does one acquire the seeds to grow this interesting plant. TIA!

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  1. Hi HiilJ,

    A few (classic) homemade dishes with loofah are:
    - sautee loofah (sliced or cubed) with vermicelle noodles and dried shrimp - just sautee the dried shrimp and loofah a bit, add chicken broth and simmer until loofah is soft, and add vermicelle in the end. Both loofah and the noodle soak up the wonderful flavor of the broth and it is a very soothing summer dish
    (some people will also add egg white to make a egg drop in the egg)

    - Stuffed Loofah with minced pork or minced shrimp
    Boil the loofah first to cook them a bit (doesn't need to be fully cooked). Cut the loofah into "rings", hollow out the seeds, and stuff minced pork or minced shrimp (and some just a mixture of both) into the rings. Place them on a plate and steam for 7 - 8 mins. The reason of pre-cooking the loofah is that steaming it may take a long time and by the time the loofah is fully cooked the stuffed mixture will be too dry or overcooked.

    Enjoy!

    3 Replies
    1. re: kobetobiko

      kobe, is loofah readily avail at ethnic markets? I've never noticed..

      1. re: HillJ

        Hi HillJ,

        Yes, loofah are very common in Chinese grocery stores, and possibly other Asian markets. They are more readily available in the summer, though I think nowadays people can somehow produce them all year round.

        Since loofahs have a lot of water content and are sweet and mild in taste, they are particularly popular during summer and are often use in dishes with some soup. However, they are so versatile that you can just stir fry it with any meat or shrimps.

        1. re: kobetobiko

          kobet, thank you for the add'l information. I'm going to keep an eye out and inquire at our local Asian market.

    2. ya that stuff just cook as if you were doing any zucchini saute, just with garlic and dried shrimps. at first, I thought you were talking about bamboo pith (xu shen) which is another funky chinese ingredient which actually LOOKS like a loofah. the classic dish for that is to just serve them soaked and boiled over any kind of chinese greens. you can also saute with eggs, or throw them into whatever clear soup you might be making.

      1. My local Asian market has the seeds in a standard packet, with the Vietnamese name "muop". It's a beautiful Cucurbit that loves a trellis, and has always proven resistant to the dreaded Squash Bugs. The added bonus is that the mature fruits are easy to strip for the bathing sponge.

        3 Replies
        1. re: FoodFuser

          Food Fuser, loofah for the body isn't hard to create? Is there a special drying procedure? This is interesting!

          1. re: HillJ

            Just let it mature and dry on the vine, thru the first frost. They will be very dry and lightweight, with the rattling seeds inside. These can be stored indefinitely and soaked/skinned/cleaned when needed. The seeds are viable, if frozen, for 5 years at least.

            The hounder's dilemma is that you want to harvest the young squashes for the wok, yet leave a few dozen to keep the family clean and scrubbed thruout the year.

            Highly recommended as a project with kids, to show the full life cycle phases and dual uses, along with attracting an awesome supply of bumblebees to the sunshine yellow flowers.

            Here's a good "how to" guide for making the sponge: http://www.luffa.info/

            There's also a pictorial guide on the web that's linked to by many bot/advert pages, but that author strips and skins them Before full frosted maturity. I recommend the dried stage method. Plus, with the dried, you get the added benefit of Loofah Baby Rattles and Maracas.

            1. re: FoodFuser

              Food Fuser, you just provided a wonderful family project-thank you for your generosity and knowledge. I have some reading to do!

        2. I see them regularly at my local Vietnamese market, but I haven't tried them yet.