Gourds

A common  ingredient in Lao recipes, a wide variety of gourds are grown in Laos. The gourd, leaves, flowers and tendrils are all eaten.

Angled gourd, silk melon ໝາກໜອຍ mak noi

Angled gourd, silk melon ໝາກໜອຍ mak noi
Angled gourd, silk melon ໝາກໜອຍ mak noi

Use in soups and fry with pork. Sometimes it is used in bamboo soup. It is steamed in northern provinces and eaten during the rice harvest ceremony.

Gadawm gourd ໝາກກະດອ່ມ mak gadawm

Gadawm gourd ໝາກກະດອ່ມ mak gadawm
Gadawm gourd ໝາກກະດອ່ມ mak gadawm

A small, rainy season gourd, it is used for soup or eaten steamed with jeow. Substitute any small biter gourd.

Sponge gourd ໝາກບວບ mak buab

Sponge gourd ໝາກບວບ mak buab
Sponge gourd ໝາກບວບ mak buab

This gourd is very similar in appearance to zucchini (courgette). Its skin is dull, not shiny. Steam and eat with jeow. Zucchini is a suitable substitute. The leaves, ຍອດໜາກບວບ nyot mak buab, can be stir fried in the same manner as morning glory. Steam the leaves and eat with tomato jeow. Add to soup.

Water gourd, bottle gourd ໝາກນ້ຳ mak nam

Water gourd, bottle gourd ໝາກນ້ຳ mak nam
Water gourd, bottle gourd ໝາກນ້ຳ mak nam

Fully grown water gourds are dried and used as water-carrying vessels. Small, 10 cm (4 in) long, immature gourds are eaten steamed with their skin on with a jeow or added as a vegetable to a soup or stew. They are quite bland. Substitute scallopini (patty pan squash).