Bitter Melon with Egg (Kho Qua Xao Trung)

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.

bitter melon and eggs
bittermelon5.JPG
sliced bitter melon

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.