Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mo qua (fuzzy melon) with tofu

So I'm over at my local oriental market, buying weird food for my MoFo project.  My basket is full.  I arrive at the checkout.  The extremely handsome and not-very-English-speaking person at the till looks at one of my items, and says, "What is this?"  I answer, having totally forgotten, "Uhhhh..."  He shrugs, opens the plastic bag, runs a hand along the item, and rings it up as Mo qua.  I will not be so ignorant again.

This squash, if not the elixir of life itself, is totally freaking delicious.  Why we in the West are not growing it here, there, and everywhere, I know not and can't even imagine.  I could eat this every day for the rest of my whole life and still be satisfied.  At the moment, I'm feeling thankful to heaven that I only cooked half of the one that I bought and have the other half still to experiment with.  Here's what it looks like whole:

It must look confusingly similar to some other squash for the checkout guy to have to feel it up to confirm what it was.  Someday I will know all this.  What does it taste like?  Something between cucumber and zucchini, like zucchini with the flavour of cucumber.  There's a lot of contradictory information out there about mo qua.  Some say you have to peel and seed it.  Some say all you have to do is rub off the bristles and you're good to go.  I opted for Choice #2 and am glad I did.  My squash started out hairy, but by the time I had washed it, most of the hairs had gone, and the rest was just pure mo qua deliciousness. 

What to do with it?  In the end I opted for a mo qua + tofu + egg type dish.  Holy god, this is what food is meant to be.  So very simple, but so awesome.  Here's what I did:

First, mix up half a batch of the omelet from Vegan Brunch.  This is my all-purpose go-to egg recipe.  Next, chop your mo qua in half, then very finely slice:


Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 10 minutes to drain.  Then rinse and pat dry.

Now heat some canola oil and a little sesame oil in a nonstick skillet, and, when hot, add the mo qua, and stir fry until the mo qua is just tender. 

 
Add some cubes of fresh tofu, and warm them up carefully, then pour on about 2 eggs' worth of the Vegan Brunch omelet mix (about half of a half, if you get me).  Cover and cook for about 2 minutes, then stir, cover and cook again for another 2 minutes.  At this point, you will be swooning with hunger, take my word for it:


Now you can eat it.  I had it with some eggplant and peppers in black bean garlic sauce, and jasmine rice.  There's no possibility of my ever getting across to my readers how perfect a meal this was, but it was.  Perfect.  Mo qua.  Go get some now.



13 comments:

  1. Great looking meal! I like fuzzy melon, I haven't had it in a long time though. I'm of the peel-off-all-of-the-skin line of thinking. :-)

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  2. That whole meal looks so, so delicious. Plus, everything tastes better with black bean garlic sauce. I'll have to keep an eye out for mo qua at our Asian grocer! Yum.

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  3. I have to try this fabulous fruit! Your dinner looks amaaaazing!

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  4. This looks really good. I love the first close up shot of the squash.

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  5. Aha! So this is what is served me when I eat out at my local Chinese Restaurant! Your description was perfect!

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  6. I've never heard of this before, but it looks really good and refreshing!

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  7. Ok, you convinced me. The next time I am at Super H I will rub all the things that look like squash and buy the hairy one, I promise. It does look like an extremely delicious meal!

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  8. This melon reminds me of Fuzzy Wuzzy Soap.

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  9. Wow, that tofu and squash looks great! I will have to look for fuzzy melon, although I highly doubt we have it here...
    (Just stopping by from Vegan MoFo).

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  10. Wow- I'd love to grow that in my garden! Love Asian markets- could spend all day in one. Your dish looks delicious!

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  11. Thank you for the lovely, simple recipe idea. I had no idea how to make this but it's so common where I live.

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