I took the kids to the Round Rock Farmer’s Market on Saturday. Even with the small number of vendors, we managed to find some good stuff.
Hot fresh pork and chicken tamales (authentically made!), Cinnamon bread, honey, a strange opo squash, and Rosa Bianca eggplants dawrfed by the green opo. This super-sized squash was 3 dollars and the size of my papper towel roll!
The grower said the opo tastes like a yellow squash or zucchini. He also said it would not be bitter so I took a chance and bought one to experiment with. This green goblin goes by many names, calabash, peh poh, woo lo kua, hu lu gua, and the list* goes on. The interior was slightly webby with a lot of seeds. A brown liquid seeped out after I cut the squash in half. Strange, but easily wiped away. I made a curry sauté with half the opo, saving the other for my next culinary whim. The texture of the cooked squash was squishy and the smallest pieces were rendered slimy. I would have kept the cubes larger so that they retained more structure while being tossed around my pan. There’s always the second half…
Golden Opo Curry
- 4 slices of bacon, halved
- 1/2 of a large opo (about 4 – 5 cups diced)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon finely diced jalapeño (seeded)
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- sea salt & pepper
- 1/2 large red onion
- 1/4 cup Thompson golden raisins, chopped
Render down the bacon over low heat, remove any crispy bits as you go along. Alternatively, use a good olive oil. The cooked bacon is not needed in the final dish, you can keep it in the fridge for breakfast or a baked potato the next day. Or, just nibble at it.
Next, peel and cube the opo. Bring the heat up under the pan to medium-high, add the opo and toss with salt and pepper. Sauté for a minute before adding curry and cumin powders. Curry needs the hot fat or oil to bloom. Remove the squash and sauté the onion, garlic and raisins. You can split the curry between the two batches to infuse the flavor more evenly. Add the opo back to the pan and stir everything together.
For a completely new veggies, it wasn’t half bad. Just keep the cubes large or cook quickly. If anyone else has cooked opo, tell me what it’s supposed to taste like!