It’s funny how a vegetable I refused to touch when I was ten is now something I enjoy cooking with. The change happened fairly recently, perhaps in the last year or two. Now, the sayote I used to hate eating because of its texture and relative lack of taste has become a quick dinner option when I’m looking for something fast and easy to cook.
The chayote, sayote to us, pear squash and vegetable pear to the rest of the world, is an edible gourd that’s eaten raw or cooked. When I was much younger, I couldn’t imagine eating it raw. The thought didn’t even occur to me. When you say sayote, my immediate thought is a firm to mushy vegetable that’s usually sauteed with pork and shrimp. Encountering the raw version, with its fresh crispness, was a wonderful discovery, leading to my greater appreciation of this cheap and underrated vegetable.
My most recent chayote recipe is an oriental take on the classic ginisang sayote. I adapted my beef with broccoli recipe for a sweet and savory approach to the crunchy, fleshy veggie.
Chayote in Oyster Sauce
v. 30 January 2012
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 200 grams ground pork
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 pcs. chayote
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsps cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
- To prepare the chayote, peel then halve each vegetable. Cut each halve into three lengthwise wedges. Remove the seed, then slice diagonally into 1/4-inch slices. Wash and drain.
- Heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic and sauté until slightly darker but not brown.
- Sauté the ground pork. When evenly browned, add soy sauce.
- When pork is almost done, add chayote slices. Sauté.
- Mix water, sugar, cornstarch and oyster sauce.
- When chayote is still crunchy but almost done, add the sauce.
- Let thicken a bit, then serve.