Opo Squash

photoOpo, otherwise known as Long Squash or Bottle Gourd (called Upo by Filipino) – Grows abundantly here in Hawaii. You might recognize its rounder counter part, the calabash, when it is harvested mature the dried shell can transform into anything from a water vessel to a musical instrument. Opo looks like other hard winter squashes yet has the softness and pierce-ability of summer squash. It only needs gentle cooking, if any, but will hold up well in frying, steaming and sauteeing.

Opo, or Long Neck Squahs, simply sauteed in coconoil oil, leftover taro, garden cabbage and sea salt.

Opo, or Long Neck Squash, simply sauteed in coconut oil, leftover taro, garden cabbage and sea salt.

Whatever it is you’re cooking – a soup, curry or sauteed and added to steamed rice, the outer skin will remain a bit firm while the inside will soften quite a bit. Of course you can peel the skin and compost it but it is not offensive as would be other harder winter squash. Enjoy the whole thing!

You can find this squash at most of your local farmers markets and often at Foodland, our supermarket here in Hawaii. If planting in your home garden, give ample space as it crawls, and place in an area that gets full sun. A small sprinkle of seeds will produce a lot of food. Amend the soil with organic fertilizer and inoculate with local compost. Have fun and give thanks for abundance!