Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup
Bitter melon is one of those vegetables that not many can stomach. As you can tell from the name, the main flavor of this melon is bitterness. I know of many recipes that have you do numerous unimaginable things to the melon to make it less bitter but that’s the best part. And, if you don’t enjoy the bitterness then just eat another type of gourd/melon. Leave the bitter melon to crazy folks like me.
Growing up, stuffed bitter melon soup was one of my favorites. I recall how surprised my mom was when I told her I liked it. A 5 year old is not supposed to like bitter stuff they say. I guess I wasn’t like any other 5 year old. To this day, this soup still brings back memories of nostalgia for me. And, I always remember how my mom worked so hard to always ensure we had soup with every meal. It’s not an easy feat for a working mother that’s for sure. I hope you give this soup a try.
Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup
- 1 lb pork shoulder meat
- 2 bitter melons
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 2 tbsps dried sliced fungus
- 1 bunch bean thread vermicelli
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- dash sesame oil
- Soak the black fungus and bean thread vermicelli in cold water to soften. Once soften, mince fungus and place into a medium bowl. Cut vermicelli into 1” pieces and add to the bowl. Add minced garlic clove, ground pork, salt, pepper and sesame oil. Mix well and set aside.
- Slice bitter melon into 2.5” pieces and remove the core of each piece. Discard the core and seeds.
- Stuff the inside of the bitter melon pieces with the ground pork mixture. If you have any of the ground pork mixture left over, roll into balls and add it the soup.
- In a medium saucepan, fill it 3/4 full of water. Add in the pork shoulder meat and bring to a boil on high. Allow to boil for 5 minutes to remove any of the scum from the meat. Drain and rinse the meat under cold water, scrubbing lightly to remove any scum attached to the meat.
- Fill the saucepan again 3/4 full of water. Add in the cleaned pork shoulder and bring to a boil again.
- Once boiling, add in the stuffed bitter melon pieces and meatballs (if you have any). Bring it back to a boil. Using a spoon, scoop out any scum floating to the top of the pot so that you end up with a clear broth.
- Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 1.5-2 hours until the pork shoulder meat has soften and flavored the soup. The bitter melon will have soften and turned a muted green. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve warm.
- The soup pairs really well with rice.