Ivy Gourd Leaves
Last time I posted a recipe for Ivy Gourd Leaves and Chicken Quenelles Soup. Today I want to share more about this delicious and beneficial vegetable.
Ivy Gourd is a tropical vine. I remember growing up pulling it down from the fence at our home in Bangkok with my grandmother. When it rains, the vine enjoys the moisture and spreads so quickly; sometimes my grandmother had to get rid of it because it started to take over her mango tree. The dish she likes to make is Ivy Gourd Leaves soup. Her version has pork balls and egg tofu. When I lived in Thailand I had this soup so often. Once I moved to the US, I found it difficult to find the ingredient at my local Asian grocery store. It didn't bother me though because I wasn't into cooking like I am these days.
This soup is one of the dishes in my must-eat list when I travel back to Thailand. Some of you will get this feeling; you can get fried-rice anywhere in the US, but you miss the one that tastes like home. I bet for foodie people who live in foreign countries you have a goal that when you travel back home here are the things you must eat. Every time I go back, there is something that happens that prevents me from having this soup, part of it is my must-eat list is too long to accomplish.
I've been missing this soup. Thanks to my Thai friend, Ple, she frequently posted photos of her organic garden on Facebook. Recently she not only posted some photos of Ivy Gourd Vine, she also invited friends to come pick them. I jumped at the opportunity. I haven't seen Ple for a long time. It's always true that food brings people together. I did some research about the vine. Evidently it produces fruit. I never realized that; I grew up with it but I've never seen the fruit. I told Ple if her vine produces fruit let me know. I want to try to cook with it and see how it tastes.
At this point you might have an interest to try this vegetable. Like I said I never seen it at my local Asian grocery store, but you can grow it yourself like Ple. I will grow it myself also. Now I'm in the process of planning my garden. There are Ivy Gourd seeds available for you to buy. Hopefully you will enjoy cooking with it like me. So far I made Ivy Gourd Leaves with chicken quenelles soup and Ivy Gourd Leaves Tempura. Remember that the young shoot is the part we pick because of course it's tender. This vegetable is also used for medicinal purpose especially diabetes; it contains chemicals that may help reduce blood sugar levels.