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Mướp xào tom khô – Luffa Stir Fry

Mướp xào tom khô – Luffa Stir Fry

4 Servings

00:15 Prep

00:10 Cook

Easy - You got this

Luffa, luffa gourd, sinqua, sponge loofah, or sponge gourd are all interchangeable terms for a vegetable found in Vietnamese vegetable stir fries and soups. In this recipe, luffa is stir fried with my 3-ingredient stir fry sauce containing dried shrimps, oyster sauce and anchovy salt.

Expect an abundance of natural sweetness from the luffa and dried shrimp; creating unique textures throughout the stir fry. Because of the luffas physical properties, this recipe calls for two uncommon stir fry ingredients; mung bean vermicelli and egg.

Luffa was arguably my favourite vegetable growing up. Its silky-soft but slightly firm and it’s ability to absorb flavour is why I am so fond of it. I loved it in a Vietnamese soup with malabar spinach and pork bones, and in this stir fry recipe over freshly steamed rice. Like the famous Chinese tomato and egg recipe, this stir fry brings forth a sense of nostalgia.

Luffa is quite naturally sweet, so be mindful if adding sugar when cooking with it. Mum always told me to keep tasting the dish as you cook it, as the luffa’s sweetness will change throughout the process. Its sponge-like texture naturally absorb any moisture which we make use of in this recipe; adding leftover liquid from rehydrating the dried shrimp to infuse the luffa with a level of umami. Finally, this stir fry can often contain excess liquid, so the addition of mung bean vermicelli and an egg absorbs any excess moisture and binds the stir fry.

Luffa features regularly in my household and I hope it will in yours as well. If you want to take your vegetable stir fry to the next level, do yourself a favour, grab a luffa and give this recipe a whirl to experience a flavourful stir fry like no other.

Mướp xào tom khô – Luffa Stir Fry
Mướp xào tom khô – Luffa Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 15g dried shrimp

  • 150ml hot water

  • 20g Mung bean vermicelli (glass noodles) (Optional)

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped 

  • 1 large luffa, peeled and cut into medium chunks 

  • ½ teaspoon anchovy salt or sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • 1 egg

  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method:

How to prepare dried shrimp and mung bean vermicelli:
1. In a small bowl, rehydrate dried shrimp with hot water for 20 minutes.


Duncan’s tip: To save time, rehydrate with cold water the night before and place in fridge.


2. In a small tray, rehydrate mung bean vermicelli with warm water for 20 minutes, then cut into 5-6 cm strands (submerge well).


3. Remove dried shrimp but reserve the water.


4. In a mortar and pestle or small food processor, pound dried shrimp until fluffy and tender.


How to stir fry luffa:
Duncan’s tip: Use my Asian Vegetable Peeler to peel the luffa with ease. To pick a fresh a luffa, make sure it is soft and flexible.


1. In a large fry pan or wok, on high heat add oil and garlic and cook until fragrant or lightly golden.


2. Add luffa, anchovy salt, oyster sauce, sea salt and sugar and stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until luffa is tender but remains firm.


3. Add pounded dried shrimp, reserved dried shrimp water and rehydrated mung bean vermicelli. Bring to the boil and simmer on medium for 2-3 minutes or until water has evaporated by half.


4. In the meantime, crack an egg into a small bowl and season lightly with sea salt and whisk.


Duncan’s tip: Use a pair of chopsticks or a fork instead of getting your whisk out.


5. Crack egg into the stir fry, mix in well, then remove from heat.


Duncan’s tip: Adding an egg not only adds protein to this dish but acts as a natural thickener.


6. Season with cracked black pepper and sesame oil. Serve on freshly steamed rice.

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