This Gourd Luffa and Beef Tongue Stir Fry is inspired by an article from the autoimmune paleo dedicated to skillets. Advantage of a stir fry or a one-pan dish in general is that you get a complete meal (with proteins and carbs) and there are not many dishes to wash after.
Traditionally stir fries are prepared in woks, where various ingredients are fried in a small amount of a very hot oil. I do not do it traditionally…In fact, I am convinced that oils shouldn’t be overheated because when they go beyond smoking point, they start to possess cancer promoting properties. I purchased this frying pan in France and I am glad I did. It has excellent thermal efficiency and heats food evenly, without overheating, therefore it keeps oils and fats healthy, way below their heating point. An added bonus is that with this cookware I can cook on medium instead of medium high, which is beneficent for a budget…
In order to make a tasty stir fry you will have to use a good amount of fats, add flavorings (such as onion, garlic, ginger, aromatic herbs) and pick starchy vegetables along with non-starchy ones. The good news here is that stir fries welcome any protein: chicken, turkey, beef, lamb and even organ meat, such as liver and tongue. I’ve chosen my starchy vegetables to be carrots, for non-starchy ones I used zucchini, and in terms of protein I opted for a beef tongue, which is perfect for stir fries, in my opinion. It used to be this way before I found out gourd luffa in the nearby Chinese market…
Technically gourd luffa is a fruit, belonging to the same family as cucumbers, isn’t it cool? Indeed, it resembles cucumber or zucchini with ridges (which are very tough and have to be removed prior to cooking). Gourd luffa is also known as Chinese okra, angled luffa, ridged gourd, sponge gourd loofa and more. It is a nice option to try it if you are getting tired of zucchini and, given this gourd’s ability to become a loofah, it has a way more fiber than zucchini. Fiber is essential in any diet and paleo diet is not the exclusion. You will have to cook it longer though than you would normally cook zucchini.
Stir fries are great not only for breakfast but for any other meal of the day. To prepare this beef tongue stir fry I usually cook tongue in a slow cooker a day before. I add carrots, onions, garlic and bay leaves and keep bouillon for a later consumption. Cooked tongue will usually permit you to make several meals, depending on the size of your family. I usually dice cooked tongue, put it into separate plastic bags and freeze. Whenever I need it, I just take one bag from the fridge and use it for various stir fries.
- 1 ½ cup cooked beef (or lamb) tongue, diced
- 2 cups gourd luffa,* ridges removed
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons solid cooking fat, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch ginger root, grated
- Fresh thyme for garnish
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- In a non stick frying pan preheat 2 tablespoons of fat.
- Add sliced carrots and cook stirring for about 5 minutes over medium heat (medium high heat for a standard cookware), until slightly golden on both sides.
- Add the gourd luffa, stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring.
- Next add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Lastly add the remaining one tablespoon of fat, coconut aminos, sea salt and diced meat, stir well and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh thyme and serve.