This plentiful vine can be used in so many delicious ways, one of those ways is used in a recipe taught to me by my Filipino friend, Rose. You may omit the fish sauce and instead use shoyu or soy sauce if you want to make this into a vegetarian dish. I have also substituted oyster sauce for the fish sauce when I was in a pinch and it was still very good and had a similar flavor.
*Rose’s advice when picking the shoots and leaves for the salad, was that you should pinch them off by hand instead of using pruners, so that you can literally feel if it is going to be too tough to eat raw. It should snap easily with a pinch and feel crisp, but easy to chew. It’s important to only take the last 4-5 inches from the tip, as farther down the stem will be a bit tough. The vine may have a very, very long tendril at the end. A few of these are okay in the salad, but you don’t want too many, so I usually pick off some of the super long ones. Also, I often pick the youngest, smaller, green leaves closest to the tip because they’re the most tender and tasty.
A fresh, light, Filipino-inspired salad.
- 2 cups pipinola (chayote) shoots and leaves, chopped and washed
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup red or white onion, chopped
- 2 green onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup ogo (or other firm seaweed)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- drizzle of sesame oil
- very light drizzle of fish sauce
- In a medium bowl, toss together pipinola, tomatoes, red onion, green onion, and sesame seeds.
- Add sesame oil and fish sauce and mix until evenly distributed.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour for full flavor.