For those who are not familiar with the vegetable, patola, you are missing out (especially with soups)! Patola, also known as Loofa Squash/Snake Gourd/Sponge Gourd/Chinese Okra, is a kind of vegetable gourd that is popular in Filipino soups. The patola vegetable has a dark green skin on the outside and tender, light green flesh inside. It has a nice chewy texture that is easy to cook and incorporate in any dish. Here in the United States, you could find patola at most Asian and Filipino grocery stores.
My patola soup is almost considered a Misua soup except I used a different kind of noodle: Bean thread vermicelli instead of soft, mushy Misua noodles. I also used dried Shiitake mushroom and its mushroom broth as well as vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth.
I topped my patola soup with fried marinated tempeh for added flavor and richness. The soup is perfect for the looming Fall season when temperatures drop and thick clouds roll in.
ASTIGVEGAN’S PATOLA SOUP WITH TEMPEH
- 6-8 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 long patola pcs, peeled and sliced (see photo) (available at most Asian stores)
- 1 ounce of dried Shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for at least 20 minutes, sliced
- mushroom broth (the water used to soak the dried shiitake mushrooms)
- 2.5 ounces of bean thread noodles, soaked in water for about 10 minutes (see photo) (available at most Asian stores)
- 1 cup of vegetable broth (or more to taste)
- 6-8 cup of water
- 3-4 tbsp. cooking oil
- 1 tbsp refined coconut oil (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Tempeh (see recipe below)
- Soak the dried mushrooms in a small bowl of hot water for at least 20 minutes. Set aside. Save the broth.
- Soak the bean thread in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile…
- In a medium pot, saute the garlic in oil under medium heat. Saute until fragrant. Add the onions. Saute for another 5 minutes.
- Add the patola and saute for another 5 minutes or until the patola softens.
- Add the mushroom, mushroom broth, vegetable broth, water, and bean thread noodles. Mix and simmer for at least 15 minutes or until the noodles soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add more vegetable broth to taste.
- Turn off the heat. Pour a tablespoon or two of refined coconut oil for added flavor, optional but highly recommended. Serve the soup in a bowl and top it with marinated tempeh (see recipe below).
1 block of Tempeh, sliced (available at most Asian stores and health stores in the US)
- 4-5 tbsp. of tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. rice wine
- 1 tsp. agave syrup
- salt and pepper
- Evenly coat the tempeh with the marinate. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.
- In a medium pan or wok, under medium heat, fry the tempeh evenly for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and serve tempeh on top of the soup.
This dish is super easy to make, I hope you could give it a try. Let me know what you think of the patola vegetable!