Stir Fry Bitter Melon with Shrimps
Growing up, I always hate bitter melon and don’t understand why people would eat it. But since some not so bad bitter melon tasting last year, I start to accept this vegetable– what can I say with me and the family eating lots of “heaty” food all the time, I need the “ying” of this vegetable to cool down :). This summer I pretty much had a bitter melon dish once a week– what a big change to my diet! Since Richard and Alexander don’t take bitter melon, I only cook it for lunch. When Ethan first saw me eating bitter melon, he wanted some too and so I gave him a bite. Surprisingly, he didn’t spit it out– he ate it followed with a drink of water. Since then he will want a bite or two of bitter melon every time I cook it.
One of the popular way to cook bitter melon is using fermented black bean. My friend Amy suggested using fish sauce and shrimp. If you have fish sauce in your pantry, do give it a try. When I want shrimp in the dish, I would stir fry with fish sauce, or add an egg and make it scrambled egg style. If it’s just stir frying bitter melon alone, I would use fermented black bean. My mom cook it with tomatoes and thus adds tangy flavor to the dish– quite refreshing taste. Hochiak! Delicious Asian Food have it fried with salted egg— hmmm… sounds delicious. I would have to try it next time.
Stir Fry Bitter Melon with Shrimps Recipe
1 medium bitter melon–cut in 1/2 vertically, discard seeds and inner spongy stuff with a spoon, then thin slice
8-10 small shrimps– shelled and deveined, lightly seasoned with salt
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped
few drops of fish sauce
1/2 to 1 cup hot water
salt and pepper to taste
- Put sliced bitter melon in a bowl and sprinkle with some salt and little water. Rub salt into bitter melon. Let it sit for a while to draw out bitter juice. Rinse under water 2 times. Drain.
- Heat wok on high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and quick saute shrimps until just cooked. Dish out.
- Add 1 tbsp oil to the hot wok. Stir fry garlic until aromatic, add bitter melon and keep stirring. Add enough hot water, little at a time, and cook bitter melon until tender. Add fish sauce, salt and pepper and stir well. Return shrimps to wok. Quick stir and dish out.
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This is my family version of Russian Soup. I grow up taking this soup a lot of time. I know I know… this is not what a Russian Soup should be, but I am just so get used to the name and the taste of it that whenever people said Russian Soup, I just think of my family version’s. Well, regardless of what it is called, the soup is very good especially for cold days that’s coming up. The peppery taste will warm up your stomach, and potatoes and carrots adds comfy homey touch to the soup.
My family version of Russian Soup
Khern’s Russian Soup Recipe
1 1/2 lbs spareribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion– finely chopped
1 tbsp white peppercorn– crushed using back of a knife
4 medium yellow potatoes– peeled, cut into big chucks
2 carrots– peeled, cut into big chucks
1 1/2 gallon water
- Add water, yellow onion and crushed peppercorn in a big pot and bring to a boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, prepare spareribs: add water in a different pot and bring to a boil. Add ribs and blanch. Remove from heat. Discard the water and rinse ribs under running water to remove any bloody impurities.
- When the water in big pot is boiling, add blanched ribs. Cover and cook on high heat for 15-20 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, continue to cook for 1.5 hours.
- Add potatoes and carrots to the soup, cover then turn heat back to high and let it boil again. Then turn down to medium heat and cook for another hour. Add salt to taste before serving.
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When I made XO sauce I had some liquid leftover from steaming the dry scallops, so I added a few tablespoons to the chicken broth this time when I made the soup. It does add lots of flavor, and the cooking wine gets rid of fishy smell (if any). Even though the weather was kind of warm, we finished all the soup. This is one of Alexander’s favorite soup as he loves crab. I didn’t have any green onion and cilantro for garnish otherwise the soup will look much prettier… anyway, it still tastes delicious!
Crab and Tofu Soup
Crab and Tofu Soup Recipe (serve 4-6 people)
1 cup crab meat
1/2 box regular tofu
1 egg– beaten
1 tsp rice cooking wine (optional)
cornstarch water for thickening
scallion & cilantro for garnish
- Dice tofu into small cubes. Lightly season with salt.
- Add chicken broth to a pot and bring to a boil. Add tofu and let it boil again.
- Add crab meat, stir to lightly loose up the crab meat. Add cooking wine if used. When the soup boils again gradually pour in cornstarch water while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste. With the aid of a fork/spoon/chopstick, slowly swirl in the beaten egg to form “egg flower” on top of the soup, drizzle with some sesame oil. Garnish with scallion & cilantro.
Variation: add some shrimps and turn it into seafood tofu soup.
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am not a big fan of Chinese mushroom but this is really good. I learned it from a friend at a potluck party. Don’t let the name mislead you into thinking that this stew dish takes a long time to cook– it’s very simple and pretty quick as long as the mushrooms are soaked through.
Stewed Chinese Mushrooms
Stewed Chinese Mushrooms Recipe
20-30 medium Chinese mushrooms — soaked overnight
1 clove garlic– finely chopped
1 can chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
(note: if you have oyster sauce feel free to add to the seasoning, adjust to taste)
- Squeeze off excess liquid from mushroom and trim off the stems. Cut into 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 size if desired.
- Season the mushroom with the seasoning and mix well. Let it stand for at least 20 minutes.
- Heat up a deep pan and fry garlic until aromatic but not burn. Add mushrooms and quick stir to prevent sticking.
- Pour in chicken broth and let it boil. Turn heat down to medium, half cover, and cook until the sauce gets thicken. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with some blanched/steamed green vegetables i.e. broccoli, baby bok choy, mustard, lettuce etc… if desired for nicer presentation.
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Saute Eggplant with homemade XO Sauce
Sharing with you an eggplant dish I made using homemade XO sauce. My eggplant dish is usually brownish but this time I managed to maintain some of its beautiful purple color. I love my eggplant when the flesh is brown from sauteing in hot smoky wok and tender– it has a mild sweet flavor that somehow reminds me of fried ripe banana. I didn’t have any extra ground pork this time so I skipped it and just used XO sauce– it turned out just as delicious!
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