Chayote (佛手瓜/合掌瓜) is an edible fruit belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash. It is pear-shaped in appearance with wrinkled green skin. The fruit has a flattened white single pit when halved lengthwise. It is an inherently sweet and mild tasting fruit. Its taste is often likened to cucumbers but with a firmer and crunchier texture similar to potatoes.
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They are popularly used in Asian cooking for stir fries and soups. In western cuisine, they are also eaten raw in salads. The skin is usually peeled before using.
1) Scientific Name: Sechium edule
2) Chinese (both simplified and traditional): 佛手瓜 fó shǒu guā (Buddha hand melon); 合掌瓜 hé zhǎng guā (Buddha hand melon), 寿瓜 shou guā (longevity melon)
3) Other names: choko, chokos, chouchou, hayatouri (ハヤトウリ), sayote, chocho, chow chow
4) Local names: Buddha hand melon, Buddha hand melon
Health Benefits & Properties
Chayotes are known to contain good sources of vitamin C, folate and zinc, therefore known to prevent cancer, acne and constipation.
Store it in the crisper (vegetables) section of the fridge. It is relatively long-lasting; may keep up to 2 weeks.
Select chayote that is small, firm but not too hard and unblemished. Avoid fruits that are sticky or discolored.
Check out NoobCook’s recipes with chayote as a key ingredient.
Where to Purchase it in Singapore
In wet markets and supermarkets.
References and Further Reading