The bitter melon, or "Kho Qua" in Vietnamese, is one of my favorite vegetables even though it is not as popular with folks for its bitter taste. We had a small garden when I was growing up and I fondly remember the several wines of bitter melon which I helped my mom tended daily during the summer months and how fruitful they would become. The best part was watching the melons grow from the flower buds into ready-to-eat melons. It was satisfying too at harvest time, when I would come out with a pair of scissors and cut a few in for dinner. Nothing tastes better than thin slices of bitter melon sauteed with garlic, then add in some eggs and you're on your way to a scrumptious and simple dish for dinner. With that thought, here's one of my favorite recipes for bitter melons and I hope you will give this recipe a try soon.
RECIPE for 4 servings
2 large bitter melons, seeded and slice thin
4 large eggs, scrambled, with a tsp of fish sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar
1 handful of dried shrimp, soak in warm water for 5 mins then drain
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
3-4 garlic, minced
2 tbs cooking oil
1 tbs fish sauce
1/3 cup of water
In a hot wok, add cooking oil, then garlic. Saute for 10 secs.
Add in sliced bitter melon. Then add in water with 2 tbs of fish sauce. Cook for about 5 mins or until the melon slices are just cooked but not mushy.
Make some room in the middle of your wok for the next ingredients.
Add in 1 tbs of cooking to wok, then add in dried shrimp. Saute for a minute then add in the scrambled egg. Continue to cook until the egg is cooked, for another 5 mins.
Turn off heat and then add cilantro. Make a few tosses and serve on a large platter with plenty of steamed rice.
I used the following to slice the bitter melons. More tools here.