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)

Introduction:

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

Mustard Greens with Salty Egg Soup

Soup Name: Mustard Greens with Salty Egg Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 芥菜鹹蛋湯 (jiècài xián dàn tāng)

Introduction:
A quick boil soup that is easy to make while stimulating the senses.  The salted egg really brings lots of flavor to this otherwise slightly bitter soup.  It’s distinct taste is refreshing and this soup is great in removing heatiness and cooling the body.

What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of fresh pork bones (optional)
1 pound of fresh mustard greens
2 slices of fresh ginger
2 salted duck eggs
2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Wash mustard greens
  2. When your soup water boils, add in fresh ginger and mustard greens
  3. Crack salted egg into a bowl and release slowly into soup (keeping the egg yolk whole) – some people will remove the egg yolk and just use the egg whites
  4. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Excellent soup for relieving heatiness
  • Flavorful vegetarian soup (meatless)
  • A non-old-fire soup that can be made in approximately half an hour

Any precautions?

  • Mustard greens have a slightly bitter taste, so don’t overuse
  • Pregnant woman in their first trimester take caution as cooling soups can cause contractions
  • Salted duck eggs are super salty and high in cholesterol