Earlier this year, I wrote on my facebook page that bamboo shoots stir fried with kaffir limes leaves was the boyfriend’s all-time favorite vegetable dish.
Well, I lied…
Not intentionally, of course! Bamboo shoots with kaffir lime leaves really was the boyfriend’s favorite vegetable dish. But that all changed when he brought over some loofah (บวบเหลี่ยม/buap liyam) and requested that I make it for dinner.
I didn’t grow up eating loofah like the boyfriend did. In fact, before he brought it over, I had always eyed it suspiciously at the Asian markets, thinking that it looked quite similar to things my granddaddy used to make bath sponges from…
But once it was on my kitchen counter waiting to be made into a delicious vegetable dish, I decided to embrace it as such. The boyfriend showed me how to peel the tough, ridged skin off to reveal the inner, spongy flesh. The texture of this flesh reminded me of eggplant and mushrooms, which tend to soak up flavors really well, so I envisioned it being really yummy when stir fried with strong flavors like garlic, Thai chilis, and kaffir lime leaves. I decided to follow the same recipe as that for bamboo shoots with kaffir lime leaves and it turned out amazing!
There is so much flavor in this dish that it really doesn’t taste like you’re eating vegetables at all! I think that’s why the boyfriend likes it so much. He has now proclaimed loofah with kaffir lime leaves to be his all-time favorite vegetable dish. And I can’t argue with him. It’s pretty darn delicious.
And really, can you ever go wrong with too many favorite vegetables?