Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cold Bittergourd


As requested by my son Ming two minutes ago (now I have even more reason to post my recipes), this is the recipe for cold bittergourd which 6th Aunt taught me and which has since become Ming's favorite bittergourd dish. He arrived in Melbourne yesterday morning and has eaten nearly everything he wanted in the last 24 hours ("Mom, the gyudon at Don Don is value for money because there's sooo much beef!" "I'm so full I wanna throw up! "Portions are so big!" "Jehjeh fed me well but she left me to discover the city myself while she was holed up in RMIT all day and night!"--that bad Jehjeh (sister)!) so he badly wants to go on a veggie diet. One of the things I'm still getting used to with Ming away is to buy less veg because the two guys now at home can go without veg if they had their way. Ming and I eat veg by the platefuls; we love meat too but feel sick if we eat too much of it.

A word of caution though: this way of preparing bittergourd is strictly for those who love the veg. I found our bittergourd more bitter than HK's. The greener and irregular or crinklier the surface of the bittergourd, the more bitter the gourd so be guided. I like my bittergourd bitter and always choose the younger greener fruit for stir fries but for this dish I choose the paler and more mature gourds. I don't know how true this is, but bittergourd is a cooling food and so balances any 'heatiness' condition brought on by too much deep-fried food. Many people also swear that it lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels. I just know that my mom always told us "Sig dek foo gwa sig dek foo", meaning if you can eat bittergourd, you can 'eat'/withstand life's bitterness. Btw, my MIL and her sister never ate bittergourd until they came out of China. Apparently there was no bittergourd in Shanghai, bittergourd being a southern Chinese veg. Maybe that's why southerners are tougher people.

Try it and tell me if you like it.

Cold Bittergourd

1 large bittergourd
salt, sugar & sesame oil
ice-cold water

1. Cut the bittergourd into half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Liberally sprinkle salt (say 1/2 teaspoon each) into the cavity of each half and leave 1/2 hour. This will decrease the bitterness.

2. Without washing away the salt, cut the bittergourd into finger size and lengths.

3. Heat a small pot of water until boiling and then add the bittergourd, keeping the flame on at high. When it comes to a boil again, let it boil 30 to 40 seconds, until just cooked. Do not overcook. Scoop out immediately and plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water and let it soak until bittergourd is cooled. This is to stop the cooking so that the bittergourd is crispy and remains green.

4. Drain very well, put into a bowl or plate and toss with a bit (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) of castor sugar and lots of sesame oil. No salt. Or dress it just before you eat so that the sesame oil flavor is not diluted. Cover and chill in fridge until ready to eat.

p.s. I just saw a comment from a reader called Chris. So Chris, here's the recipe :)) Lots of bittergourd lovers out there. I'm surprised. These are the ones who will be able to ride through this financial crisis better based on that Chinese saying. Those who don't eat bittergourd (like my Hub) better start soon.


Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

yo... U reminded me of the post 'let him eat Gourd!" poor the 2 double-U "W" !!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wow..this looks like the perfect detox dish..

Hong Ming said...

Hey mom thanks for the rep! I'll be packing this for tomorrows snack at Monash. Miss you guys!

J2Kfm said...

hehe, I only heard bout
"Sig Dak Ham Yu, Dai Dak Hot" ~ Eat SAlted Fish and Feel the Thirst. =P

I cant imagine myself biting into those raw bittergourds. cooked ones nvm. but screams BITTERness lah ...

Anonymous said...

Hi Yi's mum

thanks so much for the recipe. Now i need to go buy a bittergourd. Would love to make it for Tue lunch at work. Will update you on the outcome. Have a great week. Thanks once again. Chris

hongyi said...

sigh, you make me feel so bad. i brought him out and about lah. but can't spend the whole day with him coz my submission's due really soon and don't want to leave all the work to my teammate (he's done too much himself already).

guess what...i'm still in rmit. it's 5.45AM now. and im catching the train at 7AM later to accompany Ming for his orientation... NAH! Good jiejie after all! :P

ps: i need to talk to u abt sth when i get back... :<

hongyi said... wonder. ming went to a salad bar today and tried out falafels. i really dislike them. ming had a bite and gave me a weird look. :D

we're gonna go jogging on tuesday to keep track on our waistlines...

ooo by the way, i heard someone's dieting until i go back?~?

hongyi said...

btw im gonna be rudolf when i get back. i can feel a huge angry boil growing deep inside the tip of my nose :(((((((((

hongyi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hongyi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hongyi said...

oh and also, i think i know what breed that super cute dog in shan's blog is - preciouspea mentioned it looks like an american cocker spaniel. i googled it and found this
pic...looks like it eh? i want one!!

hongyi said...

i would also like a st bernard...would u want one too?:

shooo cuuuuteee...

(u can tell im getting restless? -_-)

click here

and here

Johnathan said...

Ah~~ Glad to see you all happy again! the bittergourd recipes sure looked and sounds good. Can't wait to try this out.

Precious Pea said...

LOL! I love Don Don value for money, but trust me, in a matter of time, Ming's tummy will expand with all the big servings there.

Looks yummy. I love stewed bittergourd as long as it's not overly bitter. But your picture sure looks good and I will try. Never try never know if i like it or not rite? i hear woof woof in your household soon? Good luck Yi. If you need my help, I can help to convince your mum too. ;)

NEE said...

this looks like a perfect diet dish. i am definitely going to try this. I am no good when it comes to cooking bittergourd. thanks so much.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

denise: so funny smtimes to c d 2 Ws--one old one young :))

joe: it is. u need it?

ming: honey, this is d 1st time u comment on my blog! miss u even more :((

j2kf: now tt one i've never carries the same meaning as the bittergourd one.

chris: welcome. which chris r u??

yi: thanx for boosting up my comments~will c u next tuesday!! yes, does look like an american cocker spaniel. but i think my heart's set on a snautzer (sp?). one of my friends in sing said she has a jack terrier n it's a very clever but temperamental dog. it bit her once (she's had her since little, 9 yrs ago) n always growl at her if she goes near when she's eating. i'd have thrown her on the barbie.

pp: ha, the way u put it i almost thought u mean another baby..!yes, dondon is GOOD. i'll see u in melb in march? am thinking of going back with yi in feb n staying for a while, ie if she gets a place with ming.

nee: guaranteed to detox n trim down the waistline.

Precious Pea said...

I will only be flying over in July next year. But now that Ming is there..i guess i will get to see you there more often. I really would love to sit down to a nice high tea chatting with you.


This is the first time I come across this recipe.

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