This recipe comes from the Philippines, my homeland. My mother used to make this dish for us when we were growing up.
Chayote is a gourd plant, similar to the summer squash. Chayote is also popular in Indian and Latin American cuisines. Chayote is very low in calories (25 calories per cup) and chock-full of vitamins and other nutrients. Chayote is also called vegetable pear, alligator pear or mango squash.
In this recipe, I used shallots instead of regular onions. In my opinion, shallots have a milder flavour when compared to onions and they work very well in sauces or creamy dishes. Also, shallots are more nutritious than most varieties of onions. On the other hand, they are more expensive than white or red onions. For the lowest price, shop for shallots in Asian markets.
The Chayotes in this recipe should be peeled, cored and sliced thinly. When shopping for Chayotes, look for fruits firm to the touch and free of bruises.
The traditional Chayote recipes use fresh tomatoes. I like to also add a few tablespoons of tomato paste to add color, flavour and additional nutrients. Also, tomato paste has ten times more lycopene content than raw tomatoes.
For a vegetarian version of this recipe, you can skip the ground pork and fish sauce. The ground pork can be replaced with any other ground meat or with shrimps.
If you decide to try this recipe, please let me know how it turns out via the blog comments section.
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 shallots or large size onions, diced
- 2 tbsp. olive or coconut oil
- ½ cup water
- 1 lb ground pork
- 5 medium size Chayotes, peeled, cored and sliced thin
- 2 small tomatoes, diced or 6 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
- In a large skillet, sauté garlic and onions in hot oil until the garlic is light brown.
- Add the ground pork until it's thoroughly cooked.
- Add the sliced Chayote, tomato paste and the water, cover, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the Chayote is slightly tender.
- Add the fish sauce, salt, ground pepper and diced tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes.