In my first trip to the Japanese grocery, I decided that I would try and buy an unidentifiable item each time. I started with this little creature. Upon bringing it home, I discovered that it is Bitter Melon. Jen has had it before in China (and was decidedly not a fan) but I did some research and decided to make a bitter melon and egg dish. The almighty internet informed me that soaking it in salt water would help reduce the bitterness, so I cut it in half, scooped out the center (sortof like a squash — white flesh and seeds) and then soaked the halves in salt water.
Then I cut it into little crescents and prepped a bunch of garlic, eggs & milk, and rummaged through the fridge to see what sort of seasoning we have at the moment that might work. I threw the melon and garlic into some hot oil with some green onions, soy sauce, sugar, hot sauce, and a touch of salsa, and then added the eggs.
Naturally I was distracted by the cooking and forgot to take pictures for a while…
And the conclusion?
I thought it wasn’t terrible. Bitter melon is… well… bitter. But the eggs (and hot sauce) help mellow the bitterness a little. It tasted more like extra-bitter chewy zuchini than anything. Jen declared that it was considerably less bitter than the last time she had it, but it was still in her top 5 most disgusting foods. So… not exactly a roaring crowd-pleaser, but an interesting little culinary adventure.