A Chinese saying: the more bitter the food is, the healthier it is. I somewhat live to that saying. Bitter melon is one of my favourites in that category. Not only is it rich in vitamin A and C, it is also rich in metals, giving our bodies adequate amount of nutrients for optimal health. Therefore, I deeply believe the health benefits of a bitter melon: lowers cholesterol, prevents diabetes and bladder infection, lowers acid in our body and cleans the gastro intestinal tract, It brings your body into equilibrium and has a cooling effect.
I enjoy the range of flavours a bitter melon offers, like bittersweet, similar to the “ginseng” acquired taste. Honestly, the taste of bitter melon is not something I can describe with words.
Feeling extremely exhausted after work?! This simple soup will solve all problems.
2 Pounds Pork Bone *pork tends to give all soups a sweet soup base*
1 1/2 Pounds Bitter melon, sliced and cored
1/5 cup Soy Beans
8 Cups Water for soup + 3 Cups Water for prep
3 Teaspoon Salt
*optional* You can chop some carrots into bite size chunks as an extra ingredient for the soup. If you do not want additional vegetables, but find the soup a bit bitter, you can insert a couple of honey red dates, slivered almonds and goji berries to neutralize the taste a bit.
The good thing about Asian soup is you can add whatever vegetable in it and it will taste absolutely natural, sweet and good! Soup is all about mix and matching ingredients together.
Note: With the soy beans, it will add an additional source of calcium to the soup.
How to Make It
1) Boil 3 cups of water and blanch the pork bone for 3 minutes to let all the fats and oil come out. With a strainer, remove the pork bone. Discard the fatty, white foamy water. By doing this, it saves you the step of using a spoon to scoop out all the fat and foam. It also ensures that you get a pot of clear soup.
2) Soak the soy beans in water for 10 minutes.
3) Cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Save the seeds. Slice the bitter melon.
4) Add the blanched pork bones in 8 cups of water in a pot. Bring it to a boil.
5) When the water boils, add the sliced bitter melon, its seeds, and soy beans. Wait for the water to boil again. I put in the vegetables last because by inserting it with the pork bones, the vigorous boiling water will soften up the melon and turn the texture into pulp. I quite like eating the ingredients intact and mildly soft.
6) When the water comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 40 minutes. Season with salt, and stir. Serve hot.
The flavour of the soup is not as bitter as one will think. Personally, this was the beginning step to accepting and liking bitter melon.