Friday, July 20, 2007

Why Bitter Gourd?

When we were at the asian market, Rosie pointed out the beauty and numberous nutritional benefits of bitter gourd and that her two teenage boys drink bitter gourd juice every morning. You should have seen how my face contorted with that thought in mind. I do not like anything bitter, and had successfully avoided the occasional dish of bitter gourd at the table when I was growing up. Then she added that she also blend in other vegetables and fruits in her bitter gourd juice. Okay, but that still didn't help with the bitter taste in my mind. I should have foreseen what was coming up next when she recommended that I try some now that I am not a kid anymore and technically I should be able to handle the bitter taste. Yeah, right! I told her I am not fond of bitter gourd, but she insisted that her way of cooking will help with the bitterness. So, I agreed to trying this long, green, funny looking vegetable.

The verdict? I can now say that I had one healthy helping of bitter gourd in my life. No doubt I was consciously hiding it in my rice and other dishes before consuming it, I did eat it. Her way of cooking bitter gourd makes it crunchy and tasty. It's still bitter, but bearable (maybe she's right, and my taste buds are not as sharp as when I was a kid.) I think it's definitely an acquired taste, and I am not there yet. Maybe when I am much, much older and my taste buds leave me. HA!

For anyone interest in the many health benefits of bitter gourd or bitter melon, click here for Wikipedia's description and definition. From what I am told, it's great for anyone with diabetes.


Little Corner of Mine said... will never see this dish serve on my table because Chong dislikes it.

I only eat it at Agnes's house because she made it with her yong tau foo. My mom used to fry it with eggs too just like your friend. I actually quite like the bitter taste. :P

Anonymous said...

I so love bitter gourd! Braised, stir-fry, soups...I like them all.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Tigerfish and C!
More bitter gourd lovers! LOL! I'm not there yet, but will work on liking the bitter taste... :)

wonda said...

I tried Hochiak's claypot chicken with bitter gourd in PabloPabla's food blog. It's "hockiak"! I sometimes cooked the bitter gourd with eggs, garlic and dried prawns. I have also cooked the typical Okinawan dish called goya chanpuru (translated literally as bitter gourd "campur" or mixed). Here is the recipe if you are interested. The ones I ate in Okinawa restaurants uses bacon or luncheon meat (Spam) instead of pork.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Wonda,
Thanks for the tips! I'll have to look at Hochiak's recipe, your recipe, and goya chanpuru for the next bitter gourd round of cooking. :)

SteamyKitchen said...

I'm so-so about bitter gourd, but I know my kids WONT like it.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Steamy Kitchen,
Ha! My kids licked one and said "no!" LOL!