Choko has gotten a bad wrap over the years as a lowly peasant food, but since peasant food has been making a come-back on restaurant menus the past few years with the resurgence of dishes like oxtail I decided I decided it was time to give the choko a chance, especially since it has such a vibrant color.
It is commonly found as a vine hanging off of fences in Australia but is actually native to Central America and Mexico and was spread to many areas of the world after the Spanish conquest.
Choko, which is also known as the vegetable pear, is from the gourd family, is low in calories and a great source of vitamin C. When choosing a choko look for one that is small, bright green and without any brown spots. The ‘meat’ of the choko can be cooked like almost any vegetable once the seed is removed from the core. Some swear that you should never boil it, and that sautéing is the best option so that’s how we cooked it – sautéed with mushrooms and bacon. For more choko recipes visit Burke’s Backyard.
- 1 small green choko, seed removed, skinned and finely sliced
- 150 g mushrooms
- 80g chopped bacon
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp lemon pepper (or seasoning of your choice)
Heat the oil in a fry pan. Add the bacon and sauté until it starts to brown. Add the sliced choko and mushrooms. Season with lemon pepper. Continue to sauté until the choko and mushrooms are almost soft – with just a slight firmness.
Can be served as a side dish to chicken, pork, fish, or even as brunch with eggs!