Chinese Okra

Chinese Okra is formally known as luffa. It is a subtropical vine and member of the family Cucurbitaceae along with gourds, melons and cucumbers. It is similar to common okra in color and shape. It is elongated with strongly ridged green skin and tapered ends and usually harvested at six to eight inches when it is still young and its flesh is at its peak tenderness. Chinese okra has a spongy, pulpy, slightly fibrous creamy white flesh. Its flavor is akin to zucchini. This versatile vegetable is suitable to a wide range of cooking methods. It may be sliced and stir fried, stuffed and baked, battered and deep fried, or pureed and turned into a chutney. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.