Why It Works
- Lightly seasoning the luffa gourd and egg with garlic and fish sauce lets the mild, sweet flavor of the vegetable shine.
- Stir-frying the gourd until just tender keeps it from getting too soft.
This is one of those things that you'll never see at a Thai restaurant outside Thailand. Maybe because it's not considered to be, you know, good enough. There are many everyday dishes that Thai people eat all of the time that rarely, if ever, find themselves onto the menus of Thai restaurants overseas.
When's the last time you saw stir-fried luffa gourds hanging out with red, green, and yellow curries in the entree section? Yet, visit any of the many rice-curry shops on the streets of Bangkok and chances are you'll see this simple vegetable stir-fry lurking in the midst of those curries, giving you the hey-I-belong-here look.
I've been eating a lot of luffa gourd dishes lately, because of an incident which led to many inside jokes among my friends and luffa-related gifts from them. You see, several weeks ago, I came home after having spent a whole day doing some research at a local library only to find that two luffa gourds had been mysteriously placed in my bag. I definitely didn't leave home with gourds in my bag, and I still have no idea where they came from.
But that's when the obsession with luffa gourds started for me as if eating a lot of them would shed some light on this puzzling incident. I've been eating lightly steamed and buttered luffa gourds as a side dish. I've been putting them in kaeng liang, a spicy Thai mixed vegetable soup. And I've been making and eating this simple luffa gourd stir-fry with eggs on top of rice. So simple. So delicious. So underrated.
So give this a try, would you please?
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 pound luffa gourds, peeled and roll-cut into 1-inch pieces (see notes)
Fish sauce, to taste
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
White pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and stir-fry until light brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add gourds and 2 teaspoons fish sauce to pan. Stir and cook until lightly softened, about 1 minute. Add eggs. Cook, stirring, until eggs are barely set, about 1 minute longer. Season to taste with more fish sauce if desired. Transfer to a plate and dust with white pepper. Serve with rice.
Large nonstick skillet
Luffa gourd also goes by angled gourd, angled luffa, ridged gourd, or Chinese okra. To roll-cut, peel luffa and slice off a 1-inch piece at a bias. Roll luffa 90 degrees and cut another piece off. Continue rolling and cutting until you reach the end.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||16%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 8g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||9%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 30mg||151%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|