Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup

Pork-stuffed bitter melon soup is a popular dish in the South and across all Vietnam in general. Bitter melon in Vietnamese is “mướp đắng” or “khổ qua.” By stuffing various ingredients representing sorrow and bad luck into the bitter melon and then eating it all, Vietnamese believe their troubles will disappear. This is not only a delicious dish but also very good for your health with a cooling effect, especially in summer. It is also an indispensable dish on Tet trays for family ancestor worship.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Ground pork: 200gr
  • Ground lean pork: 100gr
  • Bitter melon: 1kg
  • Purple shallot: 5 pieces
  • Green onion, coriander
  • Cellophane noodles: a little
  • Black fungus: 2
  • Broth or water: 1liter
  • Spice: salt, sugar, pepper, seasoning

Instruction:

1, Preparation:

  • Bitter melon: Clean with water, remove the seeds, split the melon in half lengthwise.
  • Soak cellophane noodles in water until soft, cut into 1cm lengths.
  • Soak back fungus in water till soft, cut into coleslaw.
  • Mince green onion
  • Chop 2-3 purple shallots, put a little pressure on them to release flavor.

2, Cooking:

  • Put the ground pork, lean pork sausage, black fungus, cellophane noodles and purple shallots together. Add ½ tsp. of pepper, 1 tbsp. of seasoning. Mix until well combined. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes then stuff inside the bitter melon.
  • Boil the broth with 1 tsp. of sugar (so that when the bitter melon is cooked, it will have a green colour). Add 1 tsp. of salt. Drop pieces of the bitter melon, one by one, into the broth as it boils. Cook the bitter melon until they are soft and season according to your preference.
  • Pour the soup into a bowl, add green onion, coriander, pepper.

Tip: Use pork bones for a better tasting broth, and add some chopped purple shallots for flavour. Place broth in refrigerator then skim the fat for clearer consistency.

This content is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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