I was never a big fan of bitter gourd when I was growing up. Only started eating it during my working years after having a really good bitter gourd soup at Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant at Novena Gardens.
And I realised the bitter gourd actually didn’t taste that bad when it was prepared and cooked in a style I liked. Particularly when the bitter gourd is cooked in a soup, I think the bitter flavour gets somewhat milder.
I don’t know if most of you will like this recipe (you probably will if you normally like bitter gourd) but there’s no harm in giving it a try. After all, the bitter gourd has a lot of health benefits and we should really try to include it in our diet as often as possible.
The lady cook from the fish beehoon stall at my neighbourhood hawker centre once gave me a tip to rid bitter gourd of its bitterness by cutting the deseeded gourd in chunks, rubbing with plenty of coarse salt, washing and draining and then soaking the chunks in water for an hour. I did exactly that and my bitter gourd soup turned out superb without any tinge of bitterness at all. But of course, most of the ingredients like the honey dates, red dates and goji would have already sweetened the soup naturally too.
Anyway, give this recipe a try. You know bitter gourd is good for you. ?
To make the soup even sweeter, I popped in an extra honey date and skipped the salt. Worked perfectly fine. The husband and I finished the entire pot of soup at one sitting which was enough to feed 4 persons, lol. Enjoy!
- 500g pork spare ribs, blanched in boiling water to remove scum
- 1 bitter gourd approx. 350g, deseeded & sliced into 1″ chunks
- 2 carrots approx. 350g, peeled & thickly sliced
- 2 dried honey dates
- handful of dried red dates (approx. 15 pcs)
- 2 tbsp goji berries
- 1800ml water
- salt to taste (optional)