What the Heck is a… Fuzzy Squash or Fuzzy Melon?
Description: Resembling a large zucchini in shape but with small white hairs (thus the “fuzzy” moniker) covering it, this member of the gourd family is also called fuzzy melon, hairy melon (ack!), hairy gourd (double ack!), and, in Chinese, mo qua (kind of cool).
Flavour profile: It has a mild, sweet flavour; it’s also low in calories and high in fibre.
Cuisine connection: Used primarily in Chinese cuisine in soups and stir-fry.
Prep: Rinse the squash thoroughly under cool running water. Use a paring knife to trim the stem and blossom end. Remove the fine-textured fuzz by scraping off with the back of a paring knife. Leave as much skin as possible to retain its nutrients. Peel older squash, which has tougher skin.
Selecting a good one: Fuzzy squash weighing a pound or less tastes better than larger squash, which can be tough and flavourless.
How to use: Add chopped squash to your favourite casserole recipe. Or be original at your next dinner party or company potluck and bring homemade hairy-gourd bread.
Fresh fuzzy melon has a clear layer of fine hair on its skin, that is why it is also named hairy melon.
Unlike other types of melon, seeds of them do not need to be scooped out (unless you prepare to stuff the melon). The central pith with seeds are sweet and crunchy particularly when the melon is young
Once heard that fuzzy melon is rarely found outside the Asian markets. If you do get it, try to consume it fresh and avoid storing it. The longer it is stored, the more its pleasant flavour will be lost. Before cooking, rub off the skin of the fuzzy melon with a small knife lengthways, its hairy skin is too thin to be removed by a peeler. Then cut it into slices or cubes. Because of its mild flavour, the melon is usually stir fried with meat, shrimps, ginger and shallots.