Luffa is good for you: Here are 3 delicious recipes

Luffa and fungus stir-fry.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

Luffa has both food and medicinal attributes so why aren't we eating more of this gourd?

Here are some recipes to get you started.

FUNGUS & LUFFA STIR-FRY

  • 250g luffa gourd
  • 40g carrot, cut into desired shapes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 4 thin slices ginger
  • 7g woodear fungus, soaked and cut into florets
  • 100g brown shimeji mushrooms, ends trimmed
  • 2 egg whites

Seasoning

  • 1 tbsp premium oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • sugar to taste
  • 150ml water or chicken stock

Trim away the ridges on the luffa and peel away the skin - leaving some green parts for colour if you like. Cut into wedges.

Blanch the luffa and carrot briefly in boiling water - about a minute. Dish out and set aside.

Heat the oil and sesame oil in a wok. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant.

Add the fungus and shimeji, followed by the luffa and carrot.

Stir-fry briskly over high heat for 1 minute. Lower heat to medium and add in seasoning.

Stir in egg white and toss briefly. Turn off heat, dish out and serve.

Braised fish tail with luffa​Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

BRAISED FISH TAIL WITH LUFFA

  • 300g garoupa fish tail
  • 300g luffa gourd
  • 2 medium large prawns
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp shredded ginger
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and halved
  • 20g carrot, cut into desired shapes
  • 1 tbsp kei chi

Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or to taste
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Rinse fish tail and make 2 to 3 cuts on the fish slice.

Trim away the ridges on the luffa and peel away the skin - leaving some green parts for colour if you like.

Cut into wedges. Trim feelers of prawns and devein.

Heat wok with adequate oil and sesame oil. Saute ginger and garlic till fragrant.

Add in the fish and shallow-fry over medium high heat on both sides until fragrant and lightly browned. Dish out and set aside.

Pour in water and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, carrot and luffa wedges and cook until it comes to a boil.

Return fish to the wok and add in the prawns and kei chi. Add seasoning to taste. Cook until it comes to a boil again.

Turn off heat, dish out and serve hot.

Luffa boat​Photo: Braised fish tail with luffa

LUFFA BOAT

  • 400g luffa gourd
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • chicken stock powder for sprinkling

Meatballs

  • 1 tube Japanese egg tofu
  • 100g chicken meat, minced
  • 4 tbsp cornflour

Seasoning

  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Gravy

  • 150ml chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp cornflour

For the luffa boat

Trim away the ridges on the luffa and peel away the skin - leaving some green parts for colour if you like.

Cut luffa into half lengthwise and into 5cm length pieces.

Add the oil in a wok and stir-fry luffa pieces briefly over medium high heat. Sprinkle a little chicken stock powder over when stir-frying.

Dish out and arrange on a serving plate.

For the meatballs

Smash tofu with a fork and mix with the minced meat. Add in seasoning.

Stir to mix well and shape the mixture into small balls.

Coat the balls with cornflour then deep-fry in medium hot oil till golden brown.

Remove from oil and arrange the meatballs on top of the luffa.

For the gravy

Bring chicken stock or water to a boil in a small saucepan.

Add the rest of the ingredients, seasoning to taste. Stir briefly, until the gravy thickens.

Pour the gravy over the luffa and meatballs. Serve immediately.

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