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Old 03-11-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Another Neutral Potato Substitute Vegetable

I found a bag of a chinese vegetable in the bargain bin at my grocery store, so I decided to give it a try.

It was called Mao Gua, and there are other names--Mao Qua and Hairy Gourd in particular. They are green and sort of like fatter and less waxy cucumbers in appearance.

Inside they are white and much harder than cucumbers. They seem to be VERY low carb based on what I can find online, about like the lowest summer squashes, per ounce, cooked 4 calories and .56 grams net carbs.

I found the taste to be very neutral. Raw and sliced, the center seeds are almost undetectable. There is a very vague cucumber smell, but not much. I had three of them, and one was a lot more cucumbery than the others, so I guess they vary.

Cooked till done, it's much more like a squash. It gets soft, and you can feel the texture difference of the seed part down the center.

But I had great success just warming it through, not cooking it, tossing it with some chicken fat, and stirring in grated cheese just till it melted. It was pretty good!
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info. I visit an Asian market all the time. I have not had the courage to venture into these exotic vegies. Part of the problem is that I did not know they were so low carb. I'll keep an eye out for the Mao Qua to try.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soobee View Post
Thanks for the info. I visit an Asian market all the time. I have not had the courage to venture into these exotic vegies. Part of the problem is that I did not know they were so low carb. I'll keep an eye out for the Mao Qua to try.
It's hard to get good nutritional info on these things, but I think the ones that are summer squash/cucumber sorts of things are fine. I believe winter melon is the same low carb count. I haven't tried that.

Of course the various greens are low carb, and very interesting. The pea shoots are great!
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:06 AM   #4
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How do you use the pea shoots? Salads? Stir fries? I think I've seen them in the market. The one I visit most often is Cambodian, so some times the names are different.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:42 PM   #5
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Just cooked with some oil and salt. I imagine there are a lot of fancier ways to use them though. *s*
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