Adherents of Chinese medical herbal history (TCM) believe that bitter gourd has many health benefits. Not only does it reduce blood pressure, it helps to neutralise effects of insects stings / bites, cool down heaty sore throat and promote healthy, clear and glowing skin.
Moreover, heed the old addage : one who eats bitterness (endure hardships) would become more successful in future.
Originally special dish of Hakkas, many other Chinese and non-Chinese are loving it.
For 2 bitter melons (cooling bitter gourd)
Cut each bitter melon into 3 large pieces.
Remove the seeds at the core with a teaspoon.
Cut bitter gourd into smaller 2 cm thick rings.
Soak in salt water for at least 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and drain.
The filling is very much the same as niang doufu (yong tofu) :
- Fish paste 2 cups (from firm white fish meat, deboned, chopped, blended)
or frozen ready made from speciality supermarkets
- Pork mince 1/2 cup
- chopped spring onion
Season according to taste : pepper, salt and brown sugar
(less salt is needed if using ready made fish paste)
The most common method of cooking the bitter melon is pan frying with a little oil.
Alternatively, grill the stuffed melon in an oven briefly, cook in microwave (less tasty), use combination cooking in a convection microwave oven, bake in oven at 150 C for at least 30 minutes.
1. Fry chopped garlic and shallot with vegetable oil in a saucepan till fragrant.
2. Mix a solution of oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil with tapioca starch and water.
3. Pour the mixture into the pan and simmer till lightly boil, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from developing.