Friday, June 1, 2007

Choko with Pork Ribs Soup 佛手瓜排骨汤

I first discovered this funny looking thing in the wet market while eavesdropping on two aunties discussing how to cook this thing. I asked the seller for the name of this thing and all he could say was 佛手瓜 which means "Buddha's hand melon". So it should look like Buddha's hand? Hmm ... to me it looks like the man-eating plant in the Little Shop of Horrors. That explains why it took me 4 years to finally pick it up. LOL

Anyway, if you understand Chinese, you would know that being a 瓜, it belongs to the gourd family. I later found out its English name in the supermarket. A funny name for a funny gourd/melon. It's called Choko or Chayote.

So far, I have not tried stir-frying it but only using it to make soup. It's slightly sweet and very clear. Nice!


  • 1 Choko aka Chayote, skinned, seed removed cut into pieces
  • 1/2 Carrot, skinned and cut into pieces
  • 250g Pork Ribs
  • 1200ml Water
  • Salt to taste
How to do it:

  1. Blanch ribs.
  2. In a pot, add all ingredients except salt.
  3. Bring to boil.
  4. Turn down fire and simmer for another hour or two depending on how soft you want your Choko to be.
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Serve.
I include carrots to add sweetness. You can omit that to try the original taste. It's nice without carrots too!

* The funny looking thing - Choko *

* How Choko looks like inside *


  1. i send u a foodie tag...if u have not done it before la

  2. This man-eating plant lookalike looks like its mouth is fully stuffed! LOL!

  3. Mommy of 2 angels,
    Thanks for the tag but I already did that! Pie-say!

    LOL! Yah hor!

  4. nvr tot to use 'Choko' for making soup, must try this recipe. :P

  5. it really looks like Audrey from little shop of horrors...

  6. Looks like a very "cheng" dish which is similar to carrot and radish with pork rib soup. Sometimes my mum will add sweet corn too.

  7. we call in sayote here in the phils... in our house, we stir-fry in with pork..yum! :D

  8. Ya lor, look like man-eating plant. Think I've seen chayote over here but dunno how to cook it, so never buy before. Does it taste like hairy gourd 毛瓜 or winter melon 冬瓜 ?

  9. my mother grows this and i used to eat a lot of them growing up. i alawys understood that it was known as a "choko" because the vines they grow on have a tendancy to grow wildly up anything near and choke it out.

    my favourite way of eating them is after they have been barbecued or grilled with a litle butter and a dash of salt.

  10. You can cook this with curry. We have a lot here in Florida, USA. I add this in my chicken curry, it is nice.

    I cook this like any kind of vegetable. It is a very common South American food. The Hispanic people eat a lot of this.

  11. hello, we use this to make a dhal in india. cubed and steamed, they are added to a finely mashed cooked moong dhal. seasoned well.

  12. hi! you can also try this in chicken soup with spinach, a little bit of fresh ginger and season with Thai fish sauce.

  13. Never know that you can make use it for soup. I always add in vegetable curry.

  14. Thank you everyone for your comments! Wow! Now I have many more ways to cook this! Thanks for all the suggestions!

    It's not quite the same as hairy gourd and wintermelon. They are more 'squashy'. Choko is more firm and like what Walter (Cool Insider) said, very 'cheng'.

  15. Hi Wokkingmum, just a note to inform you that I tried this soup last night. Very nice!

    Oh, btw, the veg seller at the market told me this is called 佛手瓜 leh. Nvm lah, whatever name it is called, it is a nice melon :-)

  16. Idy,
    You like it? Glad to hear that.

    Oh, yah. I heard people calling it 佛手瓜 too. To me it's the man-eating plant. hahaha ...

  17. I always want to ask you this question but keep forgetting. Me getting old too :-)

    When you say to blanch the ribs, how do you actually do it? Pour hot water over it or boil it for a few minutes?

  18. Idy,
    Haha ... working too hard!

    Yes, you are right. Boil a pot of water, add in the meat, can be beef, pork or chicken, and like it boil for 5 minutes depending on the size of the meat. Helps remove scums. ;)

  19. For you it's Choko, for us where I live (Louisiana, United States) it's Merleton. I've heard Chayote before because it's called that in Mexico and in the Southwestern United States.

    I thought it was interesting that this particular melon shows up in so many places.

    It makes a wonderful soup, either hot or a cold soup, I had a teacher from South America make gazpacho with it once, and I adored it.

    Someone else already said it, but it's amazing grilled as well.

    I've just recently found your blog, and am going backwards from newest to oldest. (which is why I'm only just commenting on one that's over a year old)

    So far I've wanted to try out almost every recipe I've seen!

  20. Sarah,
    Thanks for the info.

    It's interesting how it has so many equally interesting names.:)

    Yeah, I heard so much on how this can be done. So far I had only stir fry and cooked it in curry before. :P

    Thanks for visiting and hope to 'see' you again.

  21. Thought I would add another name to it. I was introduced to this about 30 years ago when living on the Caribbean Island of Antigua where it is referred to as Christophine.