Choi Identification: Local Cousa Squash (本地脆肉瓜)

Cousa whaa?

Cousa Squash! One of the many varieties of summer squash that are in season right now. Known for its light green, spotty exterior, we stumbled upon this unique squash for the first time this summer at Jia Mei Market and Carley Quality Meats.

IMG_9955Referred to as “脆肉瓜” in Chinese (pronounced as ceoi juk gwaa in Cantonese and cuì ròu guā in Mandarin), 脆肉瓜 reminded us a lot of regular green zucchinis. However, as some of the store employees explained to us, 脆肉瓜 is actually much crisper than regular zucchini, hence the reason why it’s literally called “crisp meat melon” in Chinese.

How to select and prepare

Like selecting other types of squash, look for 脆肉瓜 that are firm and smooth to the touch. We gravitated towards 脆肉瓜 that were shiny and heavy for their weight. Summer squash with duller appearances may indicate that they aren’t as fresh as it used to be.

IMG_9952Since summer squash such as 脆肉瓜 are typically harvested when they are still young, their outer rind is still tender and edible. On the other hand, winter squash takes longer to mature, thus leading to a tougher, more rigid exterior. Prepare 脆肉瓜 like you would with any other type of summer squash, – such as by steaming, roasting, or sauteéing it. As a matter of fact, you could even eat it raw by spiralizing it into “pasta” noodles.

Interested in trying out 脆肉瓜? Well, head down to Chinatown soon, as produce available one week may be gone by the next! To learn about other local choi in Chinatown, click here.