Bitter melon is a fruit that helps regulate our blood sugar. If you are sensitive to the bitter taste, you might need to prime yourself by going easy on the amount of bitter melon leaves or fruit to add in your recipe.
1 cup meat (pork, chicken, beef and/or seafood), chopped or minced
1 whole roma tomato, sliced (seeds removed, optional)
1 celery stalk , sliced
2 cloves garlic, mashed
½ cup onion, chopped
¼ inch ginger root, crushed and minced (substitute with powdered ginger)
¼ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
⅓ cup mung beans, pre-soaked or boiled
1 medium bitter melon fruit, sliced or 1 cup bitter melon leaves, washed and drained
*fish sauce or salt, ground black pepper to taste
2 cups of water (for the mung beans)
½ cup chicken broth or chicken bouillon
2 tbs olive oil or vegetable oil
1. Boil the mung beans until the beans are almost ready to burst. To make the boiling cost efficient, you may immerse the beans the night prior to its preparation. Drain the beans, but set aside the broth.
2. Heat the cooking oil in the pan. Once the oil starts to dance, add the garlic. Stir until light brown. Add the onions.
3. Add meat and sauté until light brown. Add tomatoes and ginger root. Add mung beans and keep stirring to avoid sticking on the pan. Add the broth and celery. Simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Add the seasonings according to your preference. Some want it to be spicy and a little salty, some do not, so feel free to adjust the amount of seasonings.
5. Add bitter melon fruit (if using) or bitter melon leaves. If using the fruit, simmer until the fruit is done. If using bitter melon leaves, simmer until leaves are wilted a little bit. Serve warm over rice or on its own.
If no bitter melon is available, you go can without. Mung beans and other veggies can stand alone. Some people even add tamarind soup base to jazz it up a little bit, while others use coconut milk.
For those of you who are beer aficionados, especially the pale ale drinkers, you might find this fruit as a reminder of your favorite drink without the carbonation. And hopefully, you can graduate into becoming a bitter melon addict and stay away from alcohol for good.
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