Thursday, October 16, 2014

Burmese Minced Pork with Chayote Squash

Burmese Minced Pork with Chayote Squash
Chayote Squash is called Gurkha Thee in Burmese, probably because they were introduced to the Burmese people by Gurkha soldiers.

This squash acts as a tenderizer for all kinds of meat and is a popular vegetable that grows profusely in the higher altitudes of the Himalayan mountains. The Nepalese call it Eskuus or Darjeeling Squash. We grew up eating this squash which was usually cooked with meat. 

I'd forgotten about it until a friend from Texas showed me around her vegetable patch. She had it growing in the ground but suggested growing it in a container because it spreads out of control. Apparently, a green thumb is not necessary to grow chayote squash. All one has to do is bury the whole fruit in a container of soil and water on a regular basis. Each plant produces several squash and the tender greens are delicious in their own right. 

Serve this as a main dish with steamed rice as part of your Burmese meal.

1 lb. minced pork, marinated for 30 minutes in
   2 Tbsp. fish sauce
   1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
5 chayote squash, peeled & cut in strips
2 onions, peeled & diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. Kashmiri mirch/chili powder
2 green chillies, diced
3 stalks green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat and brown pork, along with diced onions.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except green onions and cilantro.
  3. Stir-fry on high heat until squash is tender.
  4. Adjust salt to taste & garnish with green onions & cilantro.
Serve with steamed Basmati or other long-grain rice.