Only today I have a different opinion about this particular vegetable known as chayote or caribbean squash or referred simply as labu siam by the Indonesians, I always think it as a common vegetable. You know - the kind of veggies that tend to be oversupplied in the market, always served as home cooking meals or warteg, never made it to elegant fine dining resto served as sexy cuisine.
The fact that it actually has a more exotic name in English - and is believed to be the staple food of the Aztecs & Mayans, and there’s more interesting ways turning them into a delicacy rather than a homely stir-fried, gave me more than enough reasons to bring this baby into my kitchen. If you’d like to know more about chayote, please click here.
- 3 pieces of chayote - or labu siam, cut half lengthwise and wash in water and salt
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 300 g lean minced beef
- 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 3 red chiles (can be replaced by red bell pepper) finely chopped
- a handful of red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ cup of raisins - I’m using red cranberries which gives a hint of beautiful soury flavour
- ½ cup grated cheese - I use vintage cheese and cream cheese
- 2 tbs of breadcrumbs to add consistency
- Half cook the chayotes for about 15-20 minutes, until tender enough. Remove the seed, scoop out the flesh using spoon, set the shell aside ready for filling.
- Heat cooking pan, stir in chopped onions and garlic until fragrant. Add minced beef and cook till lightly brown. Add chopped tomatoes, oregano, cumin powder, chilis/bell pepper
- Lastly add grated cheese, bread crumbs, raisins. Mix well. Turn off fire, add in scooped chayote flesh and start filling them into chayote shells. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Oven bake for 10 minutes or less. Ready to serve.