Recipe: Bitter Melon with Eggs

INGREDIENTS

1 bitter melon about 8 inches in length
2 eggs
2 Tbs. oil
.5 tsp mushroom powder
1 Tbs light soy sauce
.5 tsp sesame seed oil

DIRECTIONS

Cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and slice each half crosswise in thin pieces. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a dash of mushroom powder.

Heat a wok. Swirl in the oil and let heat 10 to 15 seconds. Add the bitter melon and sauté in the oil for 1-2 minutes, or until the melon starts to soften. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and continue to sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the melon pieces thinly over the wok surface. Pour the beaten eggs evenly over the melon pieces. Let eggs set about half a minute, then flip the mixture over to cook the other side. Cook until eggs are set and lightly browned. Sprinkle with a little sesame seed oil.

Serves 4-6 with other dishes and rice family-style.

Note: Bitter melons are less bitter when they have fully ripened. A ripe melon will be light green in color with tinges of yellow or light orange on the outside. Inside, the spongy covering of the seeds would have turned from their light greenish white to a bright red. A less mature deeper green melon can be very bitter, but for people who have acquired a taste for the bitter flavor, it is a delicious bitterness. Bitter vegetables are known in the Orient to be very nutritious and medicinal and bitter melon perhaps leads the bunch for its medicinal properties. Riper bitter melon is softer and cooks faster.

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