Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bittermelon, Woodear Mushrooms Steamed Chicken 苦瓜黑木耳蒸鸡

This might look strange or even weird as bitter melon and chicken are usually braised as one-dish and not steamed like what is done here. Steaming is a fuss-free alternative to cook this dish, if you are not turned off by bitter-melon.

Taste-wise, I am not particularly happy with the results. I prefer Braised Chicken with Bittermelon to this steamed version, anytime. However, as a way of positive thinking, this dish has two healthy and nutritious ingredients - bitter melon and woodear mushrooms. They are equivalent to the "super-food" in the Chinese culinary world - each has unique compounds that are beneficial for us, medicinal, health or even beauty.

Woodear mushrooms are rich in plant collagen and contains very high amounts of iron, protein and riboflavin (vitamin B12) that is comparable to that of meat (Source: Ezyhealth).

Other than being an excellent source of Vitamin Bs, Vitamin C and the essential minerals and nutrients, bitter melon contains a unique phyto-constituent - charantin, that has a hypoglycemic effect, keeping blood sugar under control. There is also plant insulin - polypeptide P which have been suggested as insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.

Steamed Chicken with Bittermelon and Woodear Mushrooms 苦瓜黑木耳蒸鸡

Marinate about 8 organic chicken drummettes with 1 thin slice of ginger, finely chopped, 2tsp light soy sauce, 1tsp sesame oil, 1tbsp cooking wine (or Japanese sake), pinch of sea salt and ground white pepper and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Cut a medium-size bittemelon in half, remove seeds, slice thinly and soak in water (plus some salt) for about 15minutes, to reduce the bitterness of the melon. Drain away the water, and squeeze the melon to remove excess water. Add bittermelon, 1 cup of thinly sliced woodear mushrooms to the marinated chicken. The bite-sizes tomatoes are optional. You can add some gojiberries instead.

Steam for about 25 minutes or more till the chicken is cooked.

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