Traditional Chinese Name: 苦瓜蟹肉羹 (kǔguā Xiè ròu gēng)
I saw this in a magazine article one day and since I’ve recently developed a love for bitter melon (made only either with black bean and garlic sauce or mashed up in soups), I really wanted to try this out. So I rushed to a wet mart after work and purchased 2 things (bitter melon and fake crab meat) and then made this in a whopping 20 minutes and it tasted fabulous! It’s hearty enough that it eats like a meal, is super tasty and helps cool down the body in this dreaded heat (even though we’re technically in Autumn).
What ingredients are required?
2 fresh bitter melon (long ones are said to be less bitter than fat, round ones), seeded and chopped
15 pieces of fake crab, sliced lengthwise (or use real crab meat if you have it available)
3 fresh chicken eggs, scrambled
1/2 L of chicken broth
1 L of water
soy sauce for garnish (optional)
How do I prepare it?
- Rinse, seed and chop bitter melon into small pieces (doesn’t matter how ugly or ill-shaped as you’re going to blend it anyway)
- In boiling water, boil the bitter melon for about 10 minutes on high heat (or until soft)
- Set aside and in a blender, blend the bitter melon with 1/2 cup of the boiled water (to keep it moist and use as the soup base)
- Pour out the blended bitter melon into a clean pot
- Add chicken broth and boil on medium heat for 5 minutes
- Add in fake crab meat and boil for another 1-2 minutes
- Crack all eggs and scramble in a bowl. While stirring the soup, slowly drizzle the egg into the soup ensuring consistency and that the egg doesn’t clump
- Boil on medium heat for another 5 minutes
- Serve and add a few drops of soy sauce if required
- Easy to make soup (not so easy to clean the equipment though)
- Helps reduce heatiness and cleanse the body of toxins
- Is said to help reduce acne, cold sores and other heaty conditions in the body
- Aids in digestion and stimulating appetite
- Excellent source of anti-cancer agents and improves the immune system
- Consume with caution if pregnant (especially in the first trimester) as it is a pretty cooling soup (and can cause contractions)
- Be sure to remove all the seeds (as they are toxic)
Bitter Melon sliced open before seeding (use a tablespoon to scrape out the seeds & fiber)
Boil the bitter melon so that it becomes soft before blending
You can consider partially blending the bitter melon to give it a variety of texture and sizes
How much is 15 pieces?
I refer to each piece as the frozen fake crab meat. http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/fake-crab-meat/ Each piece is found to be about 2 inches in length as pictured. If you’re using real crab, it won’t be in pieces but rather how much meat you can pull out. It’s best to use crab leg meat (in real crabs) and about 5 crabs’ worth. Hope this helps, Lisa