Stuffed bitter melon – a culinary experiment

bitter-melon

I found a bitter melon in the veggie drawer of the fridge. It was still good, and it was almost time for dinner… so… time to experiment.  When my wife is away – there is no telling what kind of trouble I will get into ha ha.  I have never cooked stuffed bitter melon but have eaten it.  The only place I had it was at a vegetarian Indian restaurant I cooked at, so there was no pork in theirs.  There will be in mine.  I do not have a recipe and did not look up a recipe. This is being made up as I go along.  Should be fun!

In my first attempt I did not add the egg, but I see that it needs it. So next time I will. I will probably add a bit more dried chili flakes and paprika as well. I like the stuffing to be pretty spicy, it helps counter balance the bitter of the melon. Serve with a side of rice, the rice will help mellow everything out.

Stuffed Bitter Melon

2 bitter melons (ampalaya)

3 oz. ground pork

1 egg

1 tsp Coriander

1 tsp Sage

½ tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Black pepper

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Cayenne

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Garlic salt

1 tsp Curry powder

½ tsp dried chili flakes

3 Tbs diced tomato (canned is preferable for the juice)

 

Slice the bitter melon in half, lengthwise.  Scoop out the guts and seeds (retain them).  Soak the bitter melon in salt water for 30 minutes, rinse, and squeeze out excess water. This removes some of the “bitter” from the melon.  While it is soaking chop the guts of the melon, remove and discard, the seeds.  In a skillet, cook the pork, spices, and melon guts.  When the meat is cooked scramble 1 egg and the tomato into the mix (the egg is mostly a binding agent to facilitate the stuffing). 

Put the melon halves in the skillet and add an inch or so of water.  Boil for about 5 minutes, to soften the melon. Remove melon and squeeze out excess water. Stuff the meat mixture into the bitter melon halves.  Put back in the skillet and fry in a little oil for 5 or 10 minutes on a low/medium heat. 

Serve with a side of rice.

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