How to cook Chinese okra?

tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)July 24, 2005

I really want to grow Oriental vegetables this fall so I'm trying out different things from the indecipherable produce section in the Chinese grocery. I have on my kitchen counter what is labeled "Taiwanese (Chinese) Okra." I know enough to know it is in no way related to the okra I'm used to. Does anyone have a favorite way to cook this strange veggie?

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Did you search the forum first? There is an existing thread on Chinese Okra along with recipes and recipe sources here. If you try a specific recipe and like it, please post at that thread so others may enjoy it as well.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 10:26AM
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I grow both hairy gourds and chinese okra in my garden. I use the hairy gourds in any recipe instead of zucchini. I also cook both in diced tomatoes, onions, salt, and pepper. I use italian spice in the hairy gourds. Both are delicious. I like the gourds because they are a little sweeter than zucchini, but do not get mushy.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 5:23PM
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I think chinese Okra is ridge gourd ( luffa ).

Here are some nice authentic recepies for it. My favourite is thee spicy chutney ( being south Indian and all )

Here is a link that might be useful: MY GARDEN

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:10AM
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Is this vegetable suppossed to be bitter. I grew it for the first time this year, and it began to bear a little bit in September (got about a dozen total). They ranged from mildly bitter to inedible.

I just planted plain old Loofa aegyptica seeds (Dishcloth Gourd, Loofa Sponge Gourd). Was that my mistake. Should I have planted one of the more improved types specifically developed for use as a vegetable.

Or,is the bitter quality normal and considered desireable as in bitter melon?

SE Michigan

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:53PM
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It can be bitter at times, but you are supposed to throw those away and not cook them. Just like how come cucumbers taste bitter.

Dont really know why they turn out that way, but that is not unusual.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 3:47AM
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lokidog(Z5 UT)

Hmm. Never had one be bitter, they have actually been quite sweet. I've been told to peel them. Maybe that's it. Or too mature. I don't peel them, as it's quite a chore, and I'm left with very little after I've done so. The smooth species is less problematic, and I peel them occasionally.

You can use these in any recipe for summer squash. But they are even more versitile as they don't tend to cook down as much, and can be used in longer cooking recipies without becoming mush. So look up recipes for summer squash and zucchinni. They are particularly good in soups.

The other issue is varieties. Maybe there is a bitterness question here too. I've always grown the ones meant for eating (though they can be used as 'sponges' if left to mature). I can not grow the huge sponge types here as the season is just too short. Try short season vegetable varieties. I buy from Evergreen Seeds, but they are temp? offline. Hope they come back or I will be out of luck next summer.

Lastly. You will likely not find many recipes online under Chinese okra. Most people who cook it don't know it by that name and it won't be called that in recipes. See the attached URL and look for recipes under those names. Many Asian cuisines feature this vegetable.

Here is a link that might be useful: luffa names

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 12:04AM
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