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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bitter Melon (Kho Qua) with Eggs

When I was a wee girl back in the day, my mom would put some bitter melon in my rice bowl and tell me to eat it because "it's good for you" and it will "cool you down". I'd smile and say "cam on", which means thank you in Vietnamese, and then when she wasn't looking, I'd push the bitter melon underneath my rice. Why? Because I knew that after a while, I'd start to accumulate things like bones and whatnot that would continue to hide that piece of bitter melon as I finish up my rice. And when dinner was over, I'd dump the bones along with the lovely piece of bitter melon.



To this day I still can't stand the taste of bitter melon, but I can tolerate it if I hold my nose while eating it. Anyways, for those of you who like bitter melon (and I last night, I found out my two year old, J, likes it), or for those who haven't and would like to be adventurous, here's a simple and supposedly healthy recipe for you, courtesy of my mom. Variations of this dish is found in many cuisines, including Vietnamese, Filipino, Thai, and Japanese.

You will need four bitter melons:

Cut them up, and scoop out the seeds:

...and then slice them up further into strips:

Prepare the egg batter by mixing 6 eggs, a quarter cup of chopped cilantro, a quarter cup of chopped green onions, about 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a dash of pepper:

Now mince two cloves of garlic and stir fry the bitter melon strips for about 5 minutes with the garlic and a few tablespoons of oil until the melon is soft but not soggy. You can sprinkle about a tablespoon of salt over the bitter melon strips to keep them from becoming soggy. Add in an extra teaspoon of sugar to flavor the melon strips.

Then add the egg batter and gently scramble it with the bitter melon until the egg is done, about five minutes.

Enjoy your bitter creation, and if you believe what my mom was telling me last night, drink some water afterwards and the water will taste so sweet. So do you like your bitter melon or can you do without it?

8 comments:

theeatenpath said...

My friend and I are going to have a miracle berry tasting session this week, and it looks like I'll have to add bitter melon to the list...

shavedicesundays said...

theeatenpath, alright you got me wondering...I am going to have to look up what a miracle berry is.

Chubbypanda said...

Love bitter melon, as you well know. Sooooo bittaaaah!

shavedicesundays said...

chubbypanda: although it's an acquired taste, I can't seem to acquire a love for it despite trying for so long. Glad you like to eat it, though.

Thao said...

I've tried to eat this for year and years, but no way, I can't ! it's too bitter !!

shavedicesundays said...

thao, i know! I can't stand it.

Twinkle said...

Growing up, I used to hate it but one day my mom cooked it this way (with the eggs) and I suddenly fell in love with bitter melon. It's the only preparation that I find it palatable though!

shavedicesundays said...

twinkle, the egg does mask the bitterness a little, but not enough for mwah!