Tag Archives: Melon

Bitter Melon Egg Frittata Recipe

Have you ever tried bitter melon before? If you are new to bitter melon and need a gentle introduction on how to prepare one, this easy bitter melon egg frittata may be the perfect recipe to try.

Bitter Melon Egg Frittata

Salt is key to remove bitterness

Bitter melon, as its name implies, is bitter. So how do you prepare them so they taste delicious? The key is salt, and here is how to prepare your bitter melon.

  1. Cut the bitter melon into two halves along its length (not width).
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds and fibrous part of the melon.
  3. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
  4. Place the bitter melon pieces in a mixing bowl + 1 teaspoon salt. Massage and set aside for 15 minutes.
  5. Wash under cold running water, and drain thoroughly.
Bitter Melon Egg Frittata

Bitter Melon Egg Frittata

Eggs + stock

The second trick to creating this delicious dish is adding stock to your eggs. You can omit the stock if you wish, but the stock helps create a fluffier frittata. I don’t know about you, but I love it when my frittata is fluffy. Plus, the stock adds so much depth to the egg it is just silly not to use it. You can use chicken stock, dashi, mushroom stock, or vegetable stock. If you don’t have stock, I would still highly suggest adding the same amount of water instead of just plain egg.

Bitter Melon Egg Frittata

Bitter Melon Egg Frittata

Garnish galore

This frittata is great as is, but you can always add garnishes to push it over the top. My standard garnish for this frittata is thinly sliced scallions and nanami togarashi. If you have them in your pantry, I highly suggest adding furikake and katsuobushi.

Bitter Melon Egg Frittata

Bitter Melon Egg Frittata

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Winter Melon Soup Recipe | Daily Cooking Quest

Ingredients to prepare Chinese winter melon soup.

Winter melon (Chinese: 冬瓜) is widely consumed throughout Asia in savory dishes and sweets. The Chinese believes that winter melon helps reduce heat, and is good to be consumed in hot summer weather and/or after eating too many fried food.

One of the most straightforward way to enjoy winter melon is by making the ever popular winter melon soup. I use pork ribs for this, but if you prefer, you can also use chicken instead.

A little introduction on winter melon (冬瓜)

Winter melon has a naturally waxy green skin with white melon like meat. If you have never seen a winter melon before, the first thing you will notice is that they are huge! You can buy a whole melon if you wish, but it will be unwieldy and super heavy.

Almost all stores will cut them up into smaller pieces, somewhere between a quarter of melon to half a melon pieces. Personally, I am quite thankful they do this. These melons can be really big and heavy that most of the time, even a quarter of winter melon can weigh around 2 kilogram (~ 4.5 lb)!

Aside from soup, Chinese usually use this melon to make winter melon tea, and winter melon candies. The candies can be eaten as is, or to be used as filling in Chinese pastries, such as the old-fashioned 老婆饼/lao po bing/wife’s cake.

(1) Remove rind and seeds from winter melon, and cut into chunks. (2) Blanch pork ribs. (3) Soak dry ingredients. (4) Place winter melon, pork ribs, squid, and red dates in a soup pot.

(1) Remove rind and seeds from winter melon, and cut into chunks. (2) Blanch pork ribs. (3) Soak dry ingredients. (4) Place winter melon, pork ribs, squid, and red dates in a soup pot.

Chinese dried ingredients to prepare winter melon soup

Aside from the requisite pork ribs (I use spare ribs) and winter melon, I also love adding red dates/jujube, goji berries, and dried squid/cuttlefish.

Red dates/jujube and goji berries have both gone quite mainstream as they are now known as super food. These two should be very easy to find, and if you have access to Chinese markets, most stores should stock these two items. Otherwise, you can always try Amazon.

Both red dates and goji berries are full of nutrients and are considered super food. So I love adding them into my dishes whenever appropriate.😉

As for the dried squid/cuttlefish, you should be able to find these in the refrigerated section of your Asian market, but if your store doesn’t have them, it is okay to skip this harder to find ingredient.

A pot of Chinese winter melon soup.

A pot of Chinese winter melon soup.

Prep works for preparing Chinese winter melon soup

Before dumping all the ingredients into a soup pot and let your stove simmers away the soup, we need to complete the following prep works.

First, remove the rind and seeds from the winter melon, and cut the meat into chunks. I prefer to cut my winter melon into 2-inch chunks.

Second, boil a pot of water to blanch the pork ribs. Some consider this step optional, but if you want your soup to be clear with no floating scums, you don’t want to skip this step.

Third, soak the dry ingredients in cold water.

And finally, if you do use dry squid/cuttlefish, you can optionally cut this into tiny strips.

Chinese winter melon soup.

Chinese winter melon soup.

Cooking Chinese winter melon soup

Now we can start cooking our winter melon soup.

In a pot, boil together blanched pork ribs, water, winter melon, squid/cuttlefish (if using), and red dates. Reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the pork is tender and the winter melon becomes translucent, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Add goji berries and salt, adjust the amount of salt to suit your taste. Bring back to a rolling boil, then turn off the heat.

Our Chinese winter melon soup is done! It is best to serve the soup hot. I hope you will enjoy this soup as much as I do. 😋

Chinese winter melon soup.

Chinese winter melon soup.

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Bitter Melon and Egg Stir-Fry in Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Bitter Melon and Egg Stir-Fry in Black Bean Sauce.

Bitter melon is one of the vegetables I start to like as I grow older. I was not a fan when I was still a kid, and my Mom had a tough time convincing us to eat any of her bitter melon dishes.

Any child tends to dislike bitter food, but our palette changes over time. This dislike of bitter melon at a young age is similar to coffee. I didn’t love coffee when I was a kid, but I can’t survive without it when I become an adult.

If you didn’t like bitter melons when you were a kid, you may be surprised that you now love this vegetable as an adult. I will also teach you how to reduce the bitterness from the melon so it will be easier for the palette.

Ingredients for bitter melon and egg stir-fry in black bean sauce: bitter melon, eggs, garlic, dried red chilies, fermented black beans, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and salt.

Ingredients for bitter melon and egg stir-fry in black bean sauce: bitter melon, eggs, garlic, dried red chilies, fermented black beans, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and salt.

Ingredients for bitter melon and egg stir-fry in black bean sauce

  • bitter melon
  • eggs
  • garlic
  • dried red chilies
  • fermented black beans
  • salt
  • soy sauce
  • oyster sauce

Bitter melon

My Asian market almost always stocks fresh bitter melons. A packet usually contains two to three bitter melons. There are a variety of bitter melons, and you want to select the one you see in the photo.

The texture of bitter melon is similar to chayote or even a cucumber. The meat is crunchy, and for stir-fried dishes, we want the bitter melon to retain its crunchiness even after cooking.

Fermented black beans

The backbone of Chinese black bean sauce is fermented black beans. You can buy ready-made black bean sauce in a jar, but I think it is more economical to buy a packet of fermented black beans and make the sauce ourselves.

TIPS: If you are using bottled black bean sauce, replace fermented black beans, oyster sauce, and soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of black bean sauce.

To prepare bitter melon: (1) Cut bitter melon in half. (2) Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. (3) Cut into thin slices. (4) Rub bitter melon with generous amount of salt, rest for 15 minutes, and rinse well to remove the salt.

To prepare bitter melon: (1) Cut bitter melon in half. (2) Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. (3) Cut into thin slices. (4) Rub bitter melon with generous amount of salt, rest for 15 minutes, and rinse well to remove the salt.

How to prepare bitter melon to reduce its bitterness

  1. Start by cutting a bitter melon in half lengthwise.
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out the fibrous center and the seeds.
  3. Cut into thin slices or as directed by your particular recipe.
  4. Rub bitter melon with plenty of salt and rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse bitter melon under running water to remove all the salt.

The salt will reduce the bitterness from the bitter melon, but be sure to rinse them under running water to remove all the salt from the vegetable.

(1) Lightly beat the eggs and salt. (2) Sauté garlic, chilies, and fermented black beans. (3) Add bitter melon, season with oyster sauce and soy sauce. (4) Pour the eggs over the bitter melons, and once slightly set, stir until the eggs are completely set.

(1) Lightly beat the eggs and salt. (2) Sauté garlic, chilies, and fermented black beans. (3) Add bitter melon, season with oyster sauce and soy sauce. (4) Pour the eggs over the bitter melons, and once slightly set, stir until the eggs are completely set.

How to cook bitter melon and egg stir-fry in black bean sauce

I. Prep work

  1. Follow my guide above to prepare the bitter melon.
  2. Rinse fermented black beans with cold water to remove the salt. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Lightly beat eggs with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

II. Stir-fry

  1. Heat a wok with medium-high heat. Once the wok is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the wok.
  2. Add minced garlic, dried red chilies, and fermented black beans. Fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add bitter melon and season with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.
    TIPS: If using jarred black bean sauce, add bitter melon and a tablespoon of black bean sauce.
  4. Pour eggs over the bitter melon. Once the eggs start to set, stir with a spatula until completely set.
  5. Turn off the heat and transfer the dish to a serving plate. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Transfer the bitter melon and egg stir-fry to a serving plate and serve it immediately.

Transfer the bitter melon and egg stir-fry to a serving plate and serve it immediately.

Other bitter melon recipes to try

If you love this dish, you may want to try these bitter melon recipes:

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