Bitter Melon

A good farmer’s market is a wonderful thing.  Fresh produce, friendly people, street musicians, and fresh morning air make for a fun Saturday morning.  Inevitably, I come across a food item at the market that I have never seen before, much less ever tried to cook.  When this happens, I like to talk to the farmer/vendor about what the food is and how to cook it.  If I have the time to experiment and a few extra dollars, I will go ahead and buy some to try cooking at home.  This past Saturday I came across a new food: bitter melon.

After talking to the farmer about the food and how to cook it, I decided to give it a try.  I was advised to cook it with egg, pork, and tomato.  After I got home, I found a recipe online and e-mailed a good friend back in Indiana (who is a great cook) to help guide my cooking experiment.  Here is what happened:

1.) Peel and chop up four tomatoes.

2.) Slice 1/2 onion.

3.) Peel the melon, scrape out the seeds and cut into small pieces (I used three melons).

4.) Cut up the pork (I used about 2 pounds).  Stir fry in oil with two heaping teaspoons of minced garlic.

5.) When the meat is cooked, add tomatoes, onion, and about 1 cup of chicken broth.

6.) After it has simmered for a while, add salt, pepper, and the bitter melon.

7.) Then add two eggs and let simmer about 5 minutes.  And it’s done!

The melon is a little bitter, but with the pork and the tomatoes, it tastes great.  A happy ending to a farmer’s market experiment. :)

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