Thursday, March 31, 2011

Save the world/Friday Shootout: What am I?

I usually don't deep fry my spring rolls, you can if you wish.

If you just like a quick dish, thinly slice the choko, add a little green and red capsicum, carrot for colour. Stir fry with a little water. You could use onion, garlic or cook with chicken, pork slices.

"The theme for August 20th is "What Am I?"
One, two or three mysterious photos of something in your town. Something that will not be readily recognized. We shall all have fun guessing what it may be. And I am suggesting that you schedule on your blog the whole picture of the "What Am I?" on Sunday. (so we all can check back and see if we guessed right!) I know this theme is different than what we have ever done. Hoping it will be something new and fresh and get us out there shooting and thinking.

Happy Shooting!!
Posted by Doreen

This is a choko.

In New Zealand, there are plenty of chokos. Sadly they are gone to waste because people do not know how to use them.

This is the fruit of the choko plant, in case you are wondering what a choko is. It is similar to a marrow, but has very prickly skin. It also has a sap that makes you itchy. But this one I am showing you has no prickles, and no sap.

As a friend of the Zero-waste of the NGATI WHATUA O ORAKEI and Save the world campaign, I was very happy to support my colleagues Keren and Nicole in their Crops for Christchurch.

I told my friend April what a fantastic job Pt Chev had done, and she kindly gave me a big bag of chokos. She told me that these were good ones, no prickles and no sap and very tender. I happily lugged them to school, and promoted them as organic and no prickles. Sadly, only one person bought one.

Most asked the theme of this week's post "What am I?" or how do I cook it?"

I told my principal I will take them home and cook them and bring them to school for the staff to sample them. I went to the butcher and bought some beef to cook a beef and choko curry. An idea came, what if they didn't like it and it would waste my beef.

So I came up with this idea. A vegetarian spring roll made with long shredded choko as part of the ingredients. There, if more people eat the choko, I have saved part of the world.

What's the verdict, the proof is in the eating, My teenaged son ate the spring rolls without asking, "What is in it?" or "Why is this different?"

Now to answer what is choko?
an alternate name for Chayote, a green vegetable of the gourd family.

The chayote (Sechium edule), also known as christophene, vegetable pear, mirliton, alligator pear (South Louisiana), choko, starprecianté, citrayota, citrayote (Ecuador and Colombia), chuchu (Brazil), chow chow (India) güisquil (Guatemala, El Salvador), or pear squash, iskus (इस्कुस) (Nepal) is an edible plant that belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash.

The chayote fruit is used in both raw and cooked forms. When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash, it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crisp flavor. Raw chayote may be added to salads or salsas, and it is often marinated with lemon or lime juice. It can also be eaten straight, although the bland flavour makes this a dubious endeavor. Whether raw or cooked, chayote is a good source of amino acids and vitamin C.

The tubers of the plant are eaten like potatoes and other root vegetables. In addition, the shoots and leaves can be consumed, and they are often used in salads and stir fries, especially in Asia.

The Chinese like this and call it the praying marrow. They often used it to worship the Goddess of Mercy, as she is a vegetarian. It looks as though a person is grasping his palms and praying.

Please peel the skin and remove the seed.


Jama said...

From the first 2 pictures I thought they were the jambu! I think I've seen them being sold in the supermarket here but have never tried eating them.

Sarawakiana@2 said... have given me some ideas how to cook this "Buddha's Praying Gourd". Thanks....Yes I agree with you. This wonderful vegetable goes to waste because people do not know how to cook it.

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

I did not know what that way, of course, never been to your country. How nice to learn about such things from chatting with friends. Your finished dish looks wonderful. I love my veggies too.

Sarah said...

Wonderful post hon..wonderful! I did know what that was..I saw it used on Chopped the other night..or Top Chef or somewhere..noted that if not cooked right it caused itchy throat reaction! But it loooks so delicious the way you made it!! And the wraps..yummmmm! Not to mention the great shots of all!!

We have the same problem here..apples and pears just rot on the trees cause folks don't use sad really!
Hugs, Sarah

Bagman and Butler said...

You could write a cookbook. I'm not sure I could cook it, but I'd sure like to eat the finished product! Wow. And shooting every step of the way.

Shifan said...

1st picture: It's likes foot.

~JarieLyn~ said...

Very interesting. I'd never heard of it before but was thinking that it might be like squash and then I read further and you mentioned squash. Your photos are making me hungry. I love spring rolls. Yummy.

So did your staff like them?

Sandra said...

i have not seen a choko, did not know what it was until I read it. it takes a great photo, has a cute face. ha ha

Ginny said...

I have heard of these, but never seen one!! You must be a very good cook.

Doreen said...

unusual fruit. it does have a cute face as Sandra mentioned. :-)
love your pictures and the end product looks delicious!

diane b said...

Those dishes look delicious. Yum yum. I hate the sticky feel of choko when peeling them.

Pauline said...

Sorry, Ann, you can cook it any way but I swore when I left home I would never eat another choko as long as I live and that's one promise I intend to keep. I grew up being forced to eat them day after day, week after week. I do concede that your way of cooking them is a lot better than my mother's.

Small Footprints said...

Mmm ... your veggie spring rolls look wonderful (making my mouth water). I never thought of using Chokos in them ... what a great idea!! Thanks for sharing! :-)

In the eye of the beholder said...

I like to guess what things are. I thought the first one was fruit. I love spring rolls and these looks really good.