Chayote squash is also known as choko in Australia and New Zealand and labu siam/jipang in Indonesia. Although chayote is actually a fruit, it is more commonly used as a vegetable in salads, stir fries, soups and curries. My favourite way to eat chayote is as a stir fry of garlic, chayote and egg, the way my mom used to cook squashes and gourds. Chayote and egg stir fry makes a very fast and light meatless meal when eaten with steamed rice. The mildly sweet, soft and bite-y chayote goes very well with the mild flavour and texture of egg.
The entire chayote fruit is edible. But I find that in order to cook it evenly, it is best to peel chayote’s skin because the thick skin requires much longer cooking time than the flesh. When peeled, chayote releases a sticky sap that can irritate our hands. So, I always keep a large bowl of water nearby when I peel chayote to rinse the sticky sap off as I go.
To cook a chayote and egg stir fry, start by peeling 1 chayote/choko (350-400g or just under 1 lb.) and rinse the sap off with water as you go. Cut the chayote into small wedges. Heat about 1/2 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a small pan and fry 1 clove garlic (minced). Add the chayote. Sprinkle a little iodised salt. Stir for a few seconds. Add 1/2 cup hot water. Cover the pan and simmer the choko for 5-7 minutes. The chayote is ready when it can be gently cut with a spoon. Crack 1 large egg in the middle of the pan. Sprinkle a little white pepper onto the egg. Stir the egg through the chayote. The chayote and egg stir fry is ready to serve when the egg has just set. Serve with steamed rice.