02 August 2009

bitter melon

Above is a bitter melon that I purchased on a whim at the farmer's market. The most basic way too cook one seemed the Okinawan stir-fry gōyā chanpurū (it made sense to keep it simple to highlight its flavor).

Cutting the melon open, it has a spongy core and hard seeds that look like pumpkin seeds embedded therein. It smelled like a random plant that you pull up, smell and remember why only certain plants are edible. A strong, fresh, chlorophyll smell. I scraped out the spongy center. It tasted incredibly bitter, very green.

I salted the sliced bitter melon and then washed it a few times. I sautéed them in hot oil and then added tofu, mirin and shoyu. It remained firm and crunchy despite being cooked well, thus muting the bitterness. The pressed tofu was a rich foil for the bitter vegetable. Very very good.

1 comment:

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