Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Food Challenge: Chayote Squash

I have seen Chayote squash in the grocery store for years. Years without making a purchase.

Until now.

Yes, it's true -- I never took an interest in the Chayote until this week's challenge item.

My impression?

It looks like a gnarly fist; the fist of Hulk's first born child.

Holding it in your hand, it looks like you have somehow transformed into raging hulk-hood, but with a muscular, under-formed fist.

Or, or -- like a budding plant that never made its Little Shop of Horrors debut.

Yeah, Chayote squash is weird.

What's more weird? Cooking it into egg rolls.

I began with the sauce.

I mixed together some ponzu, rice wine vinegar, a ton of sesame seed oil and some spicy Chinese mustard sauce with a sampling of fish sauce. This would be my sautee oil.

I also shaved a bit of fresh ginger into the mix. Thank goodness for fresh, potent ginger. It add such a lovely flavor to a dish.

I had already chopped up the squash and, swear, it's more like a fruit than a squash.

I mean, come on, this thing has a full seed in its interior and everything. How did it get to adopt the qualifier of "squash" when it seems nothing of the sort? 

I had thought about serving it raw, but the taste was too-too bland for an entree.

Chayote is not sweet -- lest I picked an fist that had not yet ripened. I did find that the skin seemed a bit too tough, and the color not yet green enough. These were all the signs that led me to believe I would have to doctor it up in a way that would be more involved than I had originally planned -- hence the sauce.

I had some leftover shrimp and pork, so I tossed that together with the Chayote along with bean sprouts, scallions and a bit of onion powder, since I wanted that extra kick. I also added a bit of cabbage.

One of the things I love about this dish is that the rolls were not fried.

Nope, I baked them.

Yup -- on about 375 degree for about 15 minutes. And I didn't even give them an egg wash. Instead, I simply used water.

The wrappers weren't as crusty as if they had been fried. Not even close, but they did taste all the more luscious and healthy than deep fried ones.

In the end, I served the egg rolls with steamed vegetables. What a fully round dinner with a ton of flavor.

The Chayote does not have an overly distinctive flavor, so it did get lost in this dish, sorry to say. That was a total bummer.

But the egg rolls were a nice idea, I think. The Chayote had somewhat of a strong texture, on account that I left the skin -- I am sure. Thank goodness for that because, yes, the texture was necessary for the softness of the interior of this dish.

But, really, there was nothing spectacular about the presence of the Chaoyte. I think it would be better suited served raw in a tower of some sort, perhaps with additional vegetables, or with either a steak or tuna tartare. Now, that sounds like a fabulous idea!


  1. The chayote skin isn't really creating the "tough" problem. I use a vegetable peeler for most of it and don't worry about the crevasses. It's particularly good for a slaw or a green papaya type salad with Thai dressing. Did you know they are also called mirlitons?

  2. My dad used to love chayotes. Have you ever seen them in their natural form? Some varieties are rather prickly, which has given rise to a common phrase in Mexico, "parir chayotes" (http://swearindf.blogspot.com/2008/12/parir-chayotes.html).

    This post brought back good memories of my dad. Once, when I was 16, we were hiking in his hometown in Veracruz. He was a bit of a scoundrel and given to practical jokes. As we made our way back to his mother's house, he asked if I was hungry, and I said yes. So he reached into this fence in somebody's back garden, where a chayote vine was heavy with fruit. He quickly cut one with his Swiss army knife, yelled "catch!" as he threw it at me. And he ran like the wind. I catched the thing and promptly chucked it; those spines hurt. Then I ran after him :)


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