Bitter Melon Soup

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Bitter melon is a hit or miss with me; I don’t hate it but if I’m not in the mood for it, I won’t eat it. Many people I know won’t even go near it but sometimes, it really hits the spot on a chilly day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce + 5 tablespoons
  • 1 small package (about a fist full) of bean thin vermicelli noodles, soaked
  • 4 bitter melons
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 300g ground beef
  • 4 pieces of dehydrated fungus, soaked
  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced
  •  3 pork or beef bones
  • 1 egg white

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First, soak the bean thin vermicelli noodles and black fungus in warm water until they are soft.

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Meanwhile, cut the the bitter melon into thirds and scoop out the insides. Make sure you get as much of the white as you can.

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When you’re done, it should look like this. Give it a quick rinse and set them aside. Drain the noodles and fungus; cut the noodles half an inch thick and dice the fungus.

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Mix the pepper, fungus, noodles, 1 1/2 tbsp of fish sauce, green onions, egg white and beef in a bowl. Set aside the mixture and boil half a large pot of water. Place the bones in and let the flavour soak.

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Fill the bitter melon with the mixture. Press down with your fingers to make sure all the air is removed.

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When the bone water comes to a bowl, drop the bitter melon in and add 5 tablespoons of fish sauce. When the “scum” rises to the top, scoop it out to ensure your broth is as clear as possible.

Keep the heat on med-high for about an hour. If you want it to be less bitter, you can boil it for longer.

All that’s left is to enjoy! Let me know how you guys feel about bitter melon and if you’ve never had it, are you willing to give it a try?