Love for Food + sea food

Pork Stuffed Bitter Melon

Bitter melon is one of those foods I would never have thought about eating, let alone cook. A few years ago I started to open up my palate. I began exploring "new" fruits and veggies. A lot of it has to do with the fact that on WW, most veggies are zero points. I love to eat lots of volume, so the natural choice was to start eating more and more veggies. While watching Chopped last week, I saw one of the basket ingredients was bitter melon. Neither of the two chefs knew what do with the bitter fruit. They both tried to take away the natural flavor of the melon. One of them added honey. The other left the seeds in. The whole point of eating bitter melon is because it's bitter. Seems obvious. People should enhance the natural flavors of the foods they eat not try to cover them up. Otherwise, why eat it? There are plenty of non bitter things to eat. I wanted to experiment with the stuff after watching that show. Since, I'm never gonna make it on Chopped, I bought my own bitter melon from C-town. I got the recipe from my Chinese dad who said that this is the classic way of making it. I loved how cute it looked when done, like little presents of pork. The fattiness of the pork was balanced by the fresh bitter melon. Any one have any other good bitter melon recipes? Ingredients: Serves Four 1 bitter melon 1 pound minced pork, or half pork half raw prawn
3 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped finely
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
4 tsp light soy sauce
Large pinch of white pepper
1 tsp cornflour

For the sauce:
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1" of ginger, chopped finely
2 1/2 tbsp fermented black beans, chopped and mashed
250 mls chicken stock (I used half a cube)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour, slaked
2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal

Method:

  • Add the pork (and prawns, if using) to a bowl with the shiitake mushrooms, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, cornflour and white pepper. Mix well so that it's all combined.
  • Slice the bitter melon into 1" rounds and cut out the pith carefully. Blanch in salted water and refresh. Stuff the pork mixture into the rounds carefully. It's best to overstuff them slightly, as the meat will shrink a little. Steam the melon for 15 - 20 mins. It's fine to do it in two batches, as they will get a quick braise to warm back up again.
  • Heat your wok up until it's slightly smoking and add some vegetable oil. Swirl it around the wok, then add the ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the black beans, and then the stock and the sugar. Carefully add the melon rounds back into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the slaked cornflour to the mixture and simmer it further until it's thickened. Scatter with the spring onions, and serve with plain rice.
Cost: about $8.00 total or $2.00 per serving
Time: 30 minutes active, 25 minutes inactive Nutrition Facts: Amount Per Serving Calories 240.6 Total Fat 15.3 gSaturated Fat 6.0 gPolyunsaturated Fat 0.9 gMonounsaturated Fat 6.5 gCholesterol 136.0 mgSodium 444.2 mgPotassium 266.7 mgTotal Carbohydrate 2.7 gDietary Fiber 0.9 gSugars 0.0 gProtein 21.8 g
Weight Watcher Points: 6 points per serving
P.S I did a little research and found out that bitter melon is very healthy. Bitter melon can help with: digestion/constipation, HIV, diabetes, cancer, increased energy, hangovers (very cleansing), immune booster . . . etc. The list can go on and on!

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Pork Stuffed Bitter Melon + sea food