The heat resistant Luffa vine has been kind to me this (extra hot) summer. Some years there are more male flowers so less fruition but this time I see Ma Nature allowing loads of female blooms. I think she’s helping our bees as well, with food nearby, so less need for heated long distance buzzing.
Yes, it is producing gourds galore – good reason to eat what’s in season.
Some Angled Luffa hanging from the arbor.
This one needs a ladder to get to ~ now that’s really hanging loose ~ shaka🤟
I love my usual simple-to-cook Luffa Fu Yong dish which I sometimes like to vary by adding what I find in the freezer.
Luffa & sliced chicken
and when nicely sauteed till fragant
Add the egg as natural thickener (of sort)
And when I’m in the mood for some spicy dish, I cook it Indian style which is called the Peechinga Curry.
The basic items, ready for the pan.
Follow the recipe on this Link and you will get a pan full of hot (temperature and taste-wise) delicious Luffa.
Luffa cooked Indian style
Delicious with plain white rice … and vegetarian too!
I have to remember to take more pics and record what/how my Luffa gourds end up in the kitchen as. They are definitely not just grown for scrub sponges.
Whichever way it’s spelt or written, I grow both Egyptian Luffa which is smooth surfaced and Luffa acutangula which is angled luffa, to be used as food rather than for sponge. I once posted and made it known that Yes, I eat Luffa!
It blooms beautifully in summer, but it is unpredictable when deciding whether it should produce more male or female blooms at any one time, usually more of one than the other, rather than 50/50. I guess it’s Ma Nature’s way of population control.
Right now, there are blooms all over the trellis but my Angled Luffa is producing 1 female to 9 males. I guess I shouldn’t complain as I’m still get some gourds for kitchen use.
I always make one of the simplest (and one of my favorites too) when out of ideas as to what to cook for a meal.
Luffa Fu Yong
In case anyone growing Luffa is curious to try:
– 2 Green Luffas (make sure it’s soft when pressed & heavy – loaded with liquid within)
– 4 cloves Garlic & 1/2″ ginger finely diced
– 6 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms & some Black Fungus, soaked & cut into fine strips
– Sesame Oil, 2 Eggs, Pepper, Soy Sauce, and some water
1. Skin/peel Luffas
2. Oblique cut into bite size
3. Rub in just a pinch of salt
4. Put sesame oil in hot pan & sauté diced garlic & ginger till fragrant
5. Add Shiitake Mushrooms & Black Fungus
6. Mix well and add 1/4 cup water, pepper and soy sauce
7. When steaming hot, add luffa & stir-fry until luffa turns a little translucent
8. Add a little extra water if more gravy preferred, then add eggs. Wait till egg whites
begin to turn opaque then gently mix.
9. Serve (with garnishing of your choice).
* 3 servings if eaten with rice.
Ideal for ovo-vegetarians
Sometimes spelt Loofah and most famous as Body Scrubbing Sponge ~ I spell it as Luffa (广东丝瓜) and I grow it basically for some winter food. My earlier post Yes, I Eat Luffa, shows what this vine is capable of.
But this morning, looking at the flowers, I thought I’d share its beauty and how my gardening assistants love them too.
Full bloom in the morning.
The female flower, ready for pollination.
A gardening assistant ~ hard at work…
1 already pollinated & 1 screaming to be pollinated.
Many a time when we buy our food from the supermarket or even farmers’ market, we just take it for granted that food is grown for soil. However when one actually grows food naturally, one gets to appreciate their beauty in the process of their formation. Mother Nature does create Wonders.
In the US, almost everyone I know (except vegetable gardeners) relate the word Luffa, sometimes spelt Loofah, to a type body scrubbing sponge you get from the store. Yes, I allow some of my Luffa Gourds (广东丝瓜 pronounced Guangtung Xi Gua) to age & turn to sponge & these sponges really do get rid of dead cells & dirt!
Body scrubbing sponge… with a couple of seeds still stuck on them.
The plant is a vine of the Cucurbitales family and if allowed to hang on the vine till the pulp turns grainy & the sap dries up, what sits in the “shell” is a sponge.
I grow my Luffa plants almost randomly, yes, I throw seeds close to trellises, arbors and palm trees. If they like the microclimate there, they germinate & grow, with supports standing by for them ~ almost like planned gourd seed dispersal.
Luffa Gourd window deco
They grow happily & this one does look kind of cute hanging by the dining room window. I would harvest 8 out of 10 young green ones for food ~ ensuring they are heavy with sap & the skin is still soft.
Still green and heavy ~ ready for the pot!
The simplest dish is to saute diced garlic in sesame oil till fragrant. Add peeled & sliced young Luffa into the pan, stir fry till cooked (about 2 mins) then add a beaten egg into the pan. A dash of light soy sauce & pepper … stir till eggs are done & there you have it.
I call this my version of Luffa Fu Yong.