Ridge gourd, Sponge gourd, Snake gourd, Chinese Okra, Loofa/Luffa: do any of these names bring to mind a certain ingredient that’s also found in the song, “Bahay Kubo”? They should, because they all refer to a special vegetable fruit called PATOLA!

Patola is a member of the squash or gourd family and is technically a fruit, but everyone cooks and eats it as a vegetable. Once very ripe, the patola fibers harden and dry up. They become loofahs (hence the name) that you can use to exfoliate your body or as all-natural sponges for pots and pans.

The patola is rich in vitamins and in the Philippines, it is cooked mainly with a noodle called misua. Patola contains a lot of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system. It is a good source of protein and carbohydrates, and provides vitamin B, manganese, and potassium. Patola is said to help relieve symptoms of arthritis, improve the skin and brain function, and prevents or regulates diabetes.

Watch my new Bahay Kubo episode to learn more about patola, and see me make patol-a couple of haters. Oops.

Recipe:

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 1 whole peeled patola
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • coconut oil
  • 150 grams of ground pork
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fish sauce
  • 2 cups of pork broth
  • 100 grams dried noodles (misua or bihon)

Looking for other patola ideas? Try these recipes out.

Stir Fried Luffa Gourds with Eggs

Luffa Boat 

Patola Soup with Tempeh

Erwan Heussaff
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