Friday, May 9, 2008
Stir-fried BitterMelon With Crabmeat
Looks like we're having a bittermelon festival. See my previous bittermelon post here. Because of the extreme summer heat, the green leafy vegetables often reach the markets and supermarkets in a sorry sad state (half-wilted, dried). Unless you have a vegetable farm or you have a vegetable patch in your backyard, the choices of fresh vegetables in this city during summer is quite limited. Unless I choose to go to weekend markets in the South, which is quite far (2-hour drive)from where we live...
But the bittermelon can keep for a longer time. Plus, I have to teach the kids to eat this nutritious healthy gourd. So this dish will be the main feature of their lunchbox today.
For this stir-fry dish, I have to do some 'pre-treatments' to reduce the bitterness of the gourd. I sliced the washed gourd in half vertically, removed the seeds and the white goo surrounding the seeds. Then, slice the bittermelon, as thinly as possible. Add around 2 tablespoon of salt to the sliced green gourd. Mix it up a bit, and let it stand for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, there will be some liquid with the gourd. Remove the liquid and wash the sliced gourd well with water. Remove and squeeze out excess water. It is now ready to be stir-fried.
1 large bittermelon (bitter gourd)
4 tomatoes, washed, seeded, chopped
4 T minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
125 gms fresh crabmeat, cooked, flaked
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
dash of sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare the bittermelon to reduce the bitterness. Marinate the flaked crabmeat in dashes of sesame oil and a sprinkling of ground pepper.
2. Heat up some oil in a wok or skillet. Saute the onions and garlic until fragrant, but not burnt. Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir fry for a while.
3. Add the marinated crabmeat. Stir to separate the meat pieces. Add the prepared bittermelon. Mix everything up on the wok. Cover and simmer for a while until bittermelon is cooked, around 4 to 5 minutes. I usually prefer the bittermelon a bit over the half-cooked mark. You can have it cook a little longer of you want it fully cooked and softened.
4. When the bittermelon is cooked according to your desired doneness, add in the beaten eggs. Stir like crazy so that the eggs will be equally distributed and can coat all the veggies in your pan.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Some people add a bit of sugar to lessen the bitterness more. But I do not like it. Dish is cooked when the eggs are cooked and scrambled nicely.
Isn't this a very healthy dish for your lunchbox? It has veggies (the bittermelon), it has fruits (well, technically - the tomato), it has healthy protein (the eggs and the crabmeat). So I am submitting this dish and the lunchbox below to Margot of Coffee and Vanilla's Wholesome Lunchbox.
The contents of the lunchbox are:
- Rice. This is a basic staple of the Filipino and Chinese people. We eat this everyday. Sometimes three times a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For the lunchbox rice, I mixed organic brown rice with the regular white rice, hence, the yellow color in the picture above.
- Pan-fried Korean Beef Bulgogi. Recipe here.
- Stir-fried Bittermelon with Crabmeat
- steamed fish tofu (the 2 cube thingies above, center)
- 1 chinese pear (separately photographed)