Monday, 28 September 2015

Bitter Gourd Pork Ribs Soup 苦瓜排骨汤

Bitter Gourd Pork Ribs Soup 苦瓜排骨汤 used to be my least favourite soup as I could not tolerate the bitterness exuded from this vegetable-fruit. Maybe I am aging or perhaps the newer breeds of bitter gourds  are no longer as bitter as they used to be. Whilst I had to rub the bitter gourds with salt to kill the bitterness in the past, I actually have problems retaining the bitterness in the bitter gourds when brewing the soup nowadays. 

Bitter or not, we cannot deny the nutritional benefits bitter gourds bring us. Briefly, we know that bitter gourds are known to lower blood sugar levels, an excellent source for Vitamins A and C, help in relieving indigestion and constipation issues etc. 

For such simple reasons, we should give Bitter Gourd Pork Ribs Soup 苦瓜排骨汤 a chance. In fact, I have gone from resisting to really liking it now....

Ingredients (enough for 4 pax) :

  • 1 bitter gourd  (washed and cut to slices)
  • 2 carrots (washed, peeled and chopped to chunks)
  • 4-5 pcs of pork ribs or loins (blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes to remove scum beforehand). Each piece about a half-fist size.
  • 8 pcs pitted dried red dates/jujube 红枣 (use pitted red dates as the seeds are heaty)
  • 8 pcs of small dried scallops 干瑤柱
  • 1 tbsp wolfberries 枸杞子
  • 2 litre water

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Tip : Rub bitter gourd chunks with salt if you prefer to reduce the bitterness in them.

Method :

Put all ingredients into soup pot EXCEPT wolfberries.
Add 2 liters of water. Bring to boil in high heat. Turn to low-medium heat once the water/soup hits boiling point. Continue to boil for 2 hours. 
If you are using a pressure cooker like me, set to "No.1" or "low pressure" and boil for 45 minutes to 1 hour at medium heat.
Fold in wolfberries 5 minutes before turning heat off.
Transfer to serving bowl and serve while hot.


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