Bitter Melon Soup with Corn and Pork Meatballs

Bitter Melon Soup with Corn and Pork Meatballs

Bitter Melon Soup with Corn and Pork Meatballs

Soup Name:

Bitter Melon with Corn and Pork Meatballs Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

簡單菜湯 (Jiǎn dān cài tāng)


I made this after work one day and managed to pick up fresh veggies and meat from the wet mart on the way home. Sometimes I plan for soup, sometimes I don’t, and this soup is one of those last minute made-up combinations because I felt like having meatballs and bitter melon at the same time!

The pork meatballs are a substitute for the pork bones and I could eat them along with my soup. I also made extra and froze for a rainy day so I could pan fry – no wasted efforts! The bitter melon is also cooling, helps relieve heat in my body, and helps relieve that painful tongue after eating too much fried food.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 6 bowls


    • 2 fresh bitter melons, halved (with skin), de-seeded, and sliced
    • 2 fresh corn, quartered
    • 20 fresh ginkgo biloba
    • 1 pound of fresh ground pork
    • half fresh onion, diced
    • 1 egg
    • your own spices
    • 1 tsp of chicken broth powder
    • 2 L of water

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil your soup water
  2. Wash and cut the corn and throw into the soup water
  3. Wash and cut up the bitter melon (de-seed and keep on the skin) and add with the ginkgo biloba to your soup
  4. in a separate bowl, mix in the diced onions, spices and 1 egg until the pork fat becomes stringy and quite sticky
  5. Roll into bite-sized meatballs
  6. When the soup water boils, drop in the meatballs one at a time, ensuring that the water is still boiling (this ensures the meatballs cook immediately when they hit the water and stays together)
  7. Boil on high for 25 minutes
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Start with the meatballs base.  I mix in ground pork, diced onions, and 1 egg and seasoned with black pepper, salt, and a bit of soy sauce.  You can also add paprika, fresh ginger, green onions, even bread crumbs.  Then you roll them into little round balls to be dropped into your soup!

Boil your soup water in a pot on medium heat and add in the corn.  As this boils, you can prepare the bitter melon.  I halve them and scrape out the seeds with a spoon and then cut them quite thinly.  The key to quick boil soups is that the ingredients cook fast!

When the water boils, throw in the sliced bitter melon and gingko and 1 tsp of chicken broth powder.  When it boils again, drop in your meatballs and leave it to boil for 25 minutes on medium heat.

Garnish with green onions, parsley, or cilantro as you wish.  This totally eats like a meal!  Serve with rice or noodles.


Bitter Melon and Crab Meat Stew

Soup Name: Bitter Melon and Crab Meat Stew

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?

  1. 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)
  2. In boiling water, boil the bitter melon for about 10 minutes on high heat (or until soft)
  3. 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)
  4. Pour out the blended bitter melon into a clean pot
  5. Add chicken broth and boil on medium heat for 5 minutes
  6. Add in fake crab meat and boil for another 1-2 minutes
  7. 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
  8. Boil on medium heat for another 5 minutes
  9. Serve and add a few drops of soy sauce if required

Any benefits?

  • 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

Any precautions?

  • 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