Friday, February 25, 2011


About Chayotes

Chayote is a pear shape gourd with has many names.
Its Cantonese name is Buddha hand melon (faht-sáu-gwâ) thus giving a pictorial description of this plant.
Faht-sáu-gwâ is also identified as christophene or christophine in the French Antilles or chouchou in Mauritius and Reunion Island. 

In French if you are a “chouchou” it means you are someone’s darling or (if at school) the teacher’s pet.

I never tasted chayote before coming to Hong Kong. The flesh of the chayote can be compared to a cucumber or zucchini but is as firm as that of a potato. Its taste is somehow blander than potato.
Chayotes can be prepared similarly as zucchini and are good for baking and stewing. They can also be eaten raw and grated (in salad).

I also like Chayote in soup or sautéed with lots of garlic and dried shrimps.

Here is the recipe of Au Gratin Mashed Chayotes.

  • 2 chayotes, peeled and cut in pieces
  • ¼ carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp red (cayenne) pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp shredded seaweed

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Bring to boil salted water; add chayote in and cook until soft. Drain well in colander and mash it with a fork until it becomes purée.
  3. Sauté the onion in a frying pan until browned. Add the carrot, salt and black pepper.  Stir-fry for another few minutes. Combine onion and carrot combination with chayote; stir well and pour mixture into a shallow greased baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake for 15 minutes. Garnish with seaweed (optional). 

Au Gratin Mashed Chayotes

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