Ridged Gourd with Red Pepper
Sweet red pepper contrasts nicely with the gourd. Serve with chicken for a balanced meal.
1 ridged gourd
1 red bell pepper
2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
1 slice ginger
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Peel the gourd, leaving a few strips of green if desired to add a bit of color. Cut diagonally into thin slices. Cut the pepper in half, remove the seeds, and cut into thin strips.
Add oil to a preheated wok or skillet. When the oil is hot, add the ginger slice and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the ridged gourd, and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the red pepper and stir-fry until it is bright red.
Add the chicken broth and bring back to a boil. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar. Serve hot.
Because it resembles okra in taste and texture, ridged gourd is sometimes called Chinese okra. Ridged gourd makes an interesting substitute for okra in dishes of the American south, while okra can replace ridged gourd (also known as silk squash) in stir-fries.