You Say Chayote…I Say Xuxu



Last week, I wrote about how Eliana noticed the many-named squash chayote/xuxu/pepinilla/cho-cho/su su in the grocery store which she recognized from one of her books about food. Read about how she noticed the squash at the grocery store by clicking here and click here to read about her food-related books.


After last week’s post, I got suggestions about how to prepare this squash from both my sister-in-law, Mariana, and a former colleague, Mary. What I found most interesting is that both these women knew the squash by totally different names. Mariana, who is Brazilian, called the squash xuxu. (She pronounced it ‘shoo-shoo’). Mary, who is Puerto Rican, called it chayote. A squash by any other name…


So how did I prepare this vegetable with many names? Here’s what I did:



Sautéed Xuxu/Chayote Squash

  • -1 squash, peeled and cut into small sticks (You get to pick your own name for it!)***
  • -1-inch piece of peeled ginger, cut into 4 pieces
  • -2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • -Tiny pinch of salt
  • -½ tablespoon safflower oil
  • -Small splash low-sodium soy sauce

***I kept a few sticks of the xuxu raw so Eliana could try it that way, too.



In a medium-sized pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic. After 30 seconds, add the squash sticks and the pinch of salt. Stir. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the soy sauce, stir once more and remove from the heat.


Raw xuxu sticks on the left. Sautéed xuxu on the right.

Raw xuxu sticks on the left. Sautéed xuxu on the right.


I served it as a vegetable side dish accompanied by an omelet and rice.

Overall, Eliana really liked the squash. The first day I offered the raw xuxu, she wouldn’t even taste it. But the second and third days I offered it, she kept asking for more.

See? The xuxu sticks.

See? The xuxu sticks.


Now can you stop bugging me, please, and let me eat?

Now can you stop bugging me, please, and let me eat?


The sautéed xuxu was a hit the first day I offered it to her. The second day, she wasn’t so into it. So, I will keep exploring new ways to cook the squash.


Live and learn, right?


Happy Cooking!



2 Responses to You Say Chayote…I Say Xuxu

  1. Steve says:

    Wow, that looks sooo good! I surprised that I never heard of that squash, but I’ll definitely look for it. By the way, your photos are great!

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