Yen Can Cook ~ Bitter Gourd Soup with Pickled Mustard Green
Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon, is a tropical vine that belongs to the gourd family and is closely related to zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and cucumber. It is widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit. The fruit has a distinct warty exterior and an oblong shape.
Due to its pungent bitter taste, bitter gourd is not a particularly popular fruit in the eyes of the average consumer. However, there is no denying the fact that this “not-so-good-looking” fruit contains many nutrients that can be beneficial to our health. It has cooling properties which can help our body to combat heatiness especially when the weather is hot. It contains a wide variety of vitamins (C, A, E, B-1, B-2, B-3, and B-9), minerals (potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron), and antioxidants. It is also linked to lowering blood sugar, which some studies suggest means it can aid in diabetes treatment.
If you happen to be one of those who’s afraid of having this wonder veggie due to its bitter taste, let me share with you an easy trick to remove bitterness. First of all, remove the seeds and white pulp, cut into your desired shape. Then rub the bitter gourd with lots of salt and keep aside for 30 minutes before cooking. The salt helps to draw out the bitter juice from the fruit.
Of course there are several methods to reduce the bitterness of bitter gourd like scrape the rugged surface smooth, add some sugar dish before taking the dish off the heat, deep frying, soaking bitter gourd pieces in diluted yogurt before use, & etc.
For today’s soup recipe, I combined pickled mustard green (Ham Choy咸菜) and tomato with bitter gourd, which can effectively masked the bitterness of the fruit. The soup was nicely infused with appetizing sourness from the pickled mustard green and tanginess of the tomato. It’s definitely a keeper!
Ingredients (Serve: 3-4)
1 bitter gourd
500g pork ribs
2 tomatoes, halved or quartered
100g pickled mustard green, soaked in water for 10 minutes
HAPPY COOKING! #stayhealthy