"It has always been on my to-do list to attain Zen enlightenment, and recently, I did." Read Daniel Pinkwater's essay, "Mystery Vegetable". Todd Coleman

This garlicky stir-fry is made with loofah, a long, slender gourd that has soft, tender flesh beneath its ridged green peel.

Yield: serves 2


  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 lb. loofah gourd, peeled and cut diagonally into 1½”-long pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a 14″ flat-bottomed wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until golden, 15-20 seconds. Add loofah and 1 tbsp. water; season with salt, white pepper, and sugar. Cook, stirring, until just tender, 30-60 seconds. Serve immediately.