Cho chos are a mild squash amenable to various flavours. Spanish speaking islands call them chayote. In the olden days, Jamaicans used it as an apple substitute for pie by mixing it with lime juice and baking spices. The texture was similar, and it was easier to access than imported apples.
My mother’s elderly grand aunt, Aunt Fan, made it for us in the parish of St. Thomas as she grew cho chos in the vegetable patch of her beautiful garden. My recipe is a lovely side dish for entertaining. I use Spanish “Pimenton de la Vera”, a smoked paprika for the smoky taste.
- 2 large cho chos peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 ½ tsps smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsps olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, add sliced choc hos.
- Add paprika, chilli, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and toss until well coated.
- Place a stove top griddle over medium high heat and grill cho chos in batches for a couple minutes per side until cooked through.
Jacqui ‘JuicyChef’ Sinclair, founder of Nyam & Trod, is a British Jamaican award-winning chef, writer, and food culturist. She is a co-founder of Kingston Kitchen, an annual food event supporting food artisans. Jacqui has been an advocate of the Meatless Monday Global movement in Jamaica since 2011. Jacqui’s work has been featured in such publications as the Huffington Post, the Jamaica Observer, Saveur, The Jewish Post and numerous blogs. She has appeared on the Travel Channel’s ‘Bizarre Foods’ with Andrew Zimmern and Food & Wine’s Jamaica episode with Kwame Onwuachi.