Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bittergourd? In soup, stews, stir-frys? Or braised, steamed?

Do you like bittergourd? In soup, stews, stir-frys? Or braised, steamed? Not many people do, whatever way bittergourds are cooked. It's known as Bitter Melon in Wikipedia but I call it bittergourd all along since young. While doing this post for Jihva-Greens, I re-discovered that bittergourd is also known as karela in India. This vegetable or fruit, is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C. You can read about other health benefits that are widely published online.

Vegetable or fruit ?? - oh, please don't make me answer this? By definition, it should be a fruit since it has seeds. But I cook and eat them like a vegetable.

Bittergourd/Bitter Melon/Karela soup (serves 2)
-1 medium-sized bitter melon; washed, seeds removed then cut into thin strips
-1 egg, whisked
- vegetable stock (or any stock you prefer)
- dried anchovies (option)
- salt, to taste (if you are not using dried anchovies, you can add more salt)

~ can cut into bigger chunks first, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then cut into thinner strips(julienned)
~ bitter melon is an acquired taste for some, because it is bitter. They are not named without valid reasons. To reduce bitterness, you can add some salt into water, and soak the thin strips in the water
(~5mins). I guess the longer you soak, the less bitter it will be. But I like bitter I just lightly rinse water over the bitter melon that I sprinkled some salt over

1. Boil a pot of water. When boiling, add in dried anchovies(option), then add in bittergourd
2. Since in thin strips, it does not take long for the bittergourd to cook. Approx ~ 10-15mins for the bittergourd to soften (Note: It depends. If you like some crunch to be retained, do not boil it for too long)
3. Salt, to taste
4. When ready to serve, turn off the heat, and add in the egg slowly into the soup, stir slightly

Other soup posts:
Wakame soup
Cream of mushroom soup
Tofu soup
Doubled boiled soup
Cabbage pork ball soup

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