Also known as Angled Luffa, Chinese okra is a fruit that is closely related to cucumber, squash, and melons. It is tender with a spongy flesh and tastes very similar to a zucchini. Native to India, Chinese okra is typically picked when it’s young, and should be about 10 inches (no more than 18) in length. As it matures it gets a little more fibrous and bitter and it can also be used to make sponges (or loofas).
Chinese okra is often prepared like you would a zucchini or other summer squash. It can be peeled and sliced to eat raw, fried, sautéed, or steamed. In Asia it is added to curries, stews, and other vegetable dishes as its spongy flesh will easily soak up flavors.
Crystal Valley imports Chinese okra year-round from the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
Look for Chinese okra that is firm and unblemished.