This dish is a direct variation of another Vietnamese dish called “Stuffed Bitter Gourd” (Khổ qua nhồi thịt). There are two main changes: bitter gourd is replaced with Vietnamese luffa, and minced pork is replaced with minced prawns. So, Vietnamese luffa rings are stuffed with minced prawns/shrimps and then get steamed. Sometimes, cooks mau boil stuffed luffa stead, and make a soup.
Vietnamese luffa (Luffa cylindrica, Luffa aegyptiaca) is known as Mướp hương in Vietnamese language, which literally means “aromatic luffa”. This is the most prized luffa in Vietnam, and nowadays, it is the most common luffa found in local markets. Vietnamese luffa can be cooked in some stir fry dishes (with chicken’s gizzard and offal, with pork belly, with octopuses or with bean curd skin). It is also a common vegetable in Vietnamese paddy crab paste soup (canh cua).
When choosing shrimps, you should choose fresh shrimp with a transparent outer shell and a slight smell of sea water. Do not buy shrimp with dark patches or heterogeneous colors, or with strong fishy smell. Tiger prawns are a good option, but smaller kind of shrimps will work too because they will be minced.
Pork version: Mix minced pork, finely-ground pork or fresh fish paste, chopped wood-ear fungi, and chopped scallion white.