Sharkfin melon aka figleaf gourd

Cucurbita ficifolia is known by many names – sharkfin melon, figleaf gourd, black seeded pumpkin and more.  Those few names describe this squash well.  The flesh is in the form of strands that is very similar to sharkfin while the leaves look like fig leaves.  And the seeds are black and edible.

I germinated a few extra seedlings last spring and gave them away.  This autumn, they ‘boomerang’-ed back as giant squashes!  Those few extra seedlings turned into many large edible fruit 🙂

We normally cook soup (not sharkfin) but with more than one large squash, you would want to find different ways to use them or you’ll be drinking sharkfin melon soup all year 😀  You can also use it in stir-fries but I wanted to try something new.  So I decided to roast as that would give the pulp strands a different texture to when it is boiled or steamed.  I was going to roast it whole but the melon was too big to fit into my small oven so I had to cut 1/3 off it.  It was a good thing I had to cut it as I then could collect a few seeds before cooking.

Roasted sharkfin melon

I made 2 different ‘noodle’ dishes with the shredded pulp.  It probably doesn’t feel too ‘noodly’ on its own as there’s still a bit more water content and less springiness than noodles.  So I feel it works best mixed with actual noodles, in the ratio of your choice, depending on how much you like your carbs!

Mixed in with tortellini

Vegetarian tom yum noodles

You can also use spaghetti squash in a similar manner.  Please do share your interesting recipes made with sharkfin melon or spaghetti squash.

P.S. I also ate all the roasted seeds (yum) and the only thing that went into the compost, is the tough outer shell.  No waste!

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