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Chicken Bittermelon Soup!


Hurrah! I finally had chicken bittermelon soup yesterday. Slurp, slurp. Mmmmmm.

The day before we stopped at a Filipino market in Watsonville and almost immediately saying hello to me was a display of bittermelon (parria to me) and bittermelon leaves. I've been craving bittermelon for the last several months. Unless I grow it, we have to travel far and almost wide to purchase the vegetable.

The Daddy and the Mama grew bittermelon in their vegetable garden every summer. When I was a kid the Mama made chicken bittermelon soup at least once a week. Slurp, slurp. It wasn't until the Mama was 90 or so that I finally paid attention to how she made it.

Wash and drain the chicken in the cooking pot, then steam the chicken (no additional water yet) with ginger and garlic (how much is your choice). At that magical moment (just before the chicken skin burns in the pot) pour water to cover the chicken and then-some. Put the lid on the pot and step away from the stove. Let the concoction simmer until you think you smell chicken in the air. Now is the time to add the chopped bittermelon if you have it. Let the soup simmer for about five minutes, then add the bittermelon leaves. Cook until the leaves are tender, perhaps another five minutes. 

The Husband doesn't like bittermelon. Much too bitter for him. More for me, I say.



Comments

  1. I'm usually not one for bitter tastes at all, just like spicy foods. I can't really tolerate much on that side.

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    Replies
    1. The Husband is like that. He hiccups when the food is lots spicy.

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  2. I don't remember ever seeing one of those before . . . your soup sounds delicious. I'm so happy you've found a way to cook some at home (thank you for sharing the "how" - now, my eyes will be looking for bitter melon . . . yum,)

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    Replies
    1. Try an Asian supermarket. Some Chinese restaurants offer stuffed bittermelon with ground pork that's tasty. Beware: It is quite bitter if you're not into bitter.

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  3. We in India name it as bitter gourd. It tastes bitter and children don't like it all. But it is considered good for diabetes sufferers.

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    Replies
    1. With all the sweets that I ate as a kid, I truly believe the nearly daily eating of bittermelon saved me from becoming diabetic back then, and me being borderline now. Time for more bittermelon, I say.

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  4. I love the narrative recipe ...in my mind can just see your mother (and now you) as you work in the kitchen ...and I can almost smell that chicken! I would love to try a sample of that soup...I’m glad you found a place to buy the melon.

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    Replies
    1. I love hearing that you can see the soup being made. It was fortunate that I made it last Thursday. I was able to give some to Godmother Pat who caught a bug.

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  5. I'm like the Husband, only I burp! :)

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    Replies
    1. He shakes his head a lot, I suppose to shake out the bitterness. :-)

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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