Since I was on a quest to find ways to reduce the bitterness of bitter melon, I remembered that my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother) had taught me to do just that long ago. At the time though, I didn't realize it was to reduce the bitterness, I just figured it was another step in cooking as she instructed me the kitchen. Afterward, she taught me to stir-fry the bitter melon with eggs.
For this version, I added the fish sauce to the eggs first, like I do with my Scrambled Egg Omelet recipe since the flavor would be retained more in the eggs than in the bitter melon. The bitter melon was still crunchy, only slightly bitter, a perfect foil to the soft, saltiness of the scrambled eggs.
O/Kho Qua Xao Trung (Vietnamese Bitter Melon Egg Stir-Fry)
For 2 servings as a side dish, you'll need:
1 bitter melon, thinly sliced and salted
2 eggs, scrambled
2 tsps Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Slice the bitter melon in half length-wise and scrape the insides clean. Thinly slice.
In a colander, liberally salt the bitter melon slices with about 1 tsp of salt. Mix thoroughly and let rest for about an hour.
Rinse thoroughly and drain off excess water.
In a bowl, beat 2 eggs with 2 tsps fish sauce. Set aside.
Finely mince 2 cloves garlic. In a pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil and stir-fry the garlic. When the garlic softens, add the bitter melon and stir-fry for a few minutes until the bitter melon is softened to your liking.
Pour in the beaten eggs.
Gently turn the mixture until the eggs are fully cooked.
Plate and serve with rice.
It was getting too dark to take any decently lighted picture inside, but I liked the blurriness of this shot anyway. Accidentally arty?
Only one of my bitter melon four ways dinner.
Other bitter melon recipes:
Canh O/Kho Qua Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup)
Dib Iab Ntim Nqaij Hau Ua Kua (Hmong Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup with Ground Pork, Cilantro, and Scallions)
Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Pork Belly, Tofu, and Eggs)
Chinese Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Ground Pork and Black Bean Sauce
Vegetarian Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Tofu and Eggs)
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