Vietnamese Luffa Stuffed with Shrimp (Mướp Hương Nhồi Tôm)

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Save Recipe Vietnamese luffa stuffed with prawn
  • 3Servings
  • 20 mPrep Time
  • 10 mCook Time
  • 35 mReady In
Print Recipe

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).

Vietnamese luffa
Vietnamese luffa

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.

Vietnamese luffa stuffed with shrimp
Vietnamese luffa stuffed with shrimp


Step by step method

  • Making luffa rings

    Peel the luffa, and slice into big pieces about 6 - 7 cm (2½ inch), then use a spoon to scoop out the seed pulp.

  • Making prawn fillings

    In a bowl, add the minced prawns or shrimps with 1 tsp of granule seasoning, 1/2 tsp of msg, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, and mix well. Add 1 TB minced spring onion white and 1 TB chopped coriander leaves.

  • Stuffing luffa rings

    Stuff the minced prawn paste into each luffa rings.

  • Steaming

    Put the luffa rings onto a dish, and place it in a steamer. Steam for about 10 mins.

  • Making sauce

    Pour the juice of the steamed luffa into a saucepan. Season with 2 TB soy sauce, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 TB diluted tapioca starch, and cook until the sauce thickens, then turn off the heat. Pour the hot sauce onto the steamed luffa rings, or use as a separate dipping sauce.

Tips & variations

  • Pork version: Mix minced pork, finely-ground pork or fresh fish paste, chopped wood-ear fungi, and chopped scallion white.

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