Friday, May 25, 2018

Stuffed Bitter Melon

Bitter melon or bitter gourd is an acquired taste, either you love it or you hate it. In my house we love bitter melon except for my daughter, who does not like the bitter taste of the melon.

Bitter melon is sliced to about 1/2 inch thickness, remove the seeds and white pith in the centre, then blanched in salted water for 2 to 3 minutes, drain, let cool a little and stuffed with pork-dumpling style filling. Place on steaming tray and steam over high heat for 10 minutes or until the filling is cooked through. 

These are for my daughter, made with Fuzzy Melon or also known as Hairy Gourd, and it works well too. Both the stuffed bitter melon and fuzzy melon dish are very tasty. 

Stuffed Bitter Melon
(The Food of Taiwan, Cathy Erway)
for the stuffing
1/2 pound ground pork
2 whole scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 medium bitter melons
1 to 2 cups hot stock (optional)

For the stuffing :
In a large bowl, combine the pork, scallions, soy sauce, oil, cornstarch, salt, and white pepper. You can do this up to a day ahead and store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Trim the ends from the melons and slice into rounds about 1/2-inch thick. Entirely scoop out the seed pockets from the centres of the slices. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and submerge the slices. Blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain.
Arrange the melon slices on a flat plate that fits inside a steamer (or directly onto a bamboo steamer rack lined with parchment paper). Fill each centre completely with a scoop of the filling mixture. Steam until the filling feels firm to the touch and is entirely cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer carefully to a deep serving dish. If desired, lade the stock in a shallow pool at the bottom of the dish for serving.

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