Monday, April 30, 2007

Steaming stuffed bittergourds with pork

From the response I get here, bitter gourd is surely a "like it" or "hate it" vegetable or fruit. About 50% of you like them, and 50% don't. Besides the soup, I also cooked a steamed version. Similar to the soup, this is another easy bitter gourd dish to cook.

Steamed bitter gourd or bittermelon, stuffed with minced pork (serves 4)
- 3 medium sized bitter gourd, washed, seeds removed, cut into chunks, as shown
- 1/3 to 1/2 lbs minced pork
- handful of black fungus, washed and chopped finely
- 2 stalks scallions or handful of cilantro leaves, chopped finely

marinade/seasoning (for the pork):
-1tbsp shaoxing cooking wine
-2tsp dark soy sauce
-1tsp sesame oil
-dashes of pepper
-dashes of salt
-2tsp cornflour

1. To the pork, add black fungus, scallions(or cilantro), mix well
2. Then add the marinade/seasoning to the pork, mix well. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, core the bitter gourd as shown
4. Scoop up pork and stuff into the hollow of the bitter gourd, as shown.
Note: For excess pork, can just roll them into mini pork balls and steam them together with the stuffed bitter gourd. It will only add more flavor to the gravy. No harm.
5. Steam for 15-20mins
Note: The longer you steam, the softer the bitter gourd becomes, and you get more "gravy"from the moisture in the bitter gourd, and the seasoned pork
Note: To prevent steam condensation on the bitter gourd dish, you can cover the plate of stuffed bitter gourd with a saran wrap before steaming
Note: If you prefer a soup version of this, you could. Just drop the stuffed bitter gourd into a slow-cooker, top with some water/broth and slow-cook as a soup.

Other posts:
Steamed chicken with mushrooms, ginger and spring onions
Tofu with spinach and minced pork soup

Steaming is healthy - let the natural flavors of bitter gourd and lightly seasoned pork infuse. No oil required other the the sesame oil used for seasoning.

Steaming is easy - as easy as slow-cooking. This case, you just need a steamer (I used the traditional wok for steaming), not much attention required after you put the dish into the steamer. Of course, if more than 20-25mins, you need to make sure the water used for steaming does not dry out! And do you realize if you cook it this way, there are lesser plates, and no oily pan to wash ? The plate you place your raw ingredients (i.e uncooked stuffed bitter gourds), is the plate you place into the steamer, and is the plate of food you serve and dig into.

More posts:
Bitter gourd soup
Nyonya Chap Chai - Vegetables Stew or Braised Vegetables

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