Stir Fry Bottle Gourd

I found bottled gourds in an Indian shop the other day which made me really happy! It’s the first time I’ve seen them sold in christchurch. They were imported from Fiji – Christchurch is much too cold for growing these.

I really miss these – they are common in Taiwan. And this day, I stir fried them with mushrooms and egg strips.

These are the ingredients I used:

  • 1 bottle gourd
  • a handful of button mushrooms (you can just use gourds)
  • 5 thin slices of ginger, finely sliced again into toothpick thickness “strings”
  • 3 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in water until soft, reserve water
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 10 fish balls (optional, made of ground fish flesh shaped into elastic balls and precooked, available from Asian stores)
  • 3 eggs
  • salt
  • light sesame oil*

And here’s what I did:

  1. If you can easily push your finger nail into the skin of the gourd, the skin is tender enough not to be peeled. Otherwise, peel the skin.
  2. Slice bottle gourd in to 5mm thick half rounds.
  3. Cut bottom mushrooms into halves.
  4. Cut fish balls into halves.
  5. Squeeze water out of the soaked Chinese mushrooms and slice into strips.
  6. Lightly beat eggs in a bowl.
  7. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and swirl it around when it’s hot.
  8. Pour enough eggs into the frying pan and swirl it around to cover the base of the pan. Once set, flip it over and cook through. Take it out and continue making egg “pancakes” until eggs are used up.
  9. Roll up egg “pancakes” and slice into strips and set aside.
  10. Heat another 1-2 tablespoons of oil in the frying pan.
  11. Add ginger, garlic and sliced Chinese mushrooms and fry until fragrant.
  12. Add the gourds and fry until semi transparent and soft.
  13. Add the mushrooms and fish balls and stir until mushrooms are cooked.
  14. Add the egg strips to the pan and stir to mix.
  15. Season with salt to taste (1/4 teaspoon or so)
  16. Drizzle a little sesame oil, stir and plate it.

If you are a vegetarian, just leave the fish balls out. This is really wonderful served with rice.

* About sesame oil: There are light ones and dark ones. If you can only find one type of sesame oil in your store, just grab it and use more or less depending on your taste.

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