Tag Archives: Bitter Melon

Sunday Supper of Ga Kho Gung, Canh and Khổ Qua Xào Trứng

2 Jul

This weekend was the ultimate in all things summer. Swimming, crab feast on the Chesapeake Bay, naps, and more pool time. Somehow within there I fit in some adulting, too. With the holiday mid-week, if there’s any hope of eating home cooked meals, today was the day.

I’ve been craving Gà Kho Gừng and stir fried bitter melon for a while, and Anh has been wanting a canh. These three dishes are super simple and make for several tasty meals.

Table set with bowls of ga kho gung Vietnamese caramel ginger chicken, stir fried bitter melon with eggs, Vietnamese greens and tofu soup, cucumbers and rice

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Leftovers For Days

21 Feb

After the Housewarming, there were surprisingly very few leftovers thanks to doggy bags sent home with the fam. We did, however, have a dozen or so uncooked stuffed bitter melon and a container of the Thit Kho (braised pork with eggs). Perfect for dinners and lunches over the next few days. Also they give me a chance to show you what they look like since I was remiss in taking photos the day of.

I’ve now learned that it’s better to remove soups from the stove, or enterprising old ladies may fire up the burners to heat their individual bowl. And leave it on for the rest of the day. I probably turned off the burner under boiling pots of soup three or four times throughout the day. Unfortunately this meant the Thit Kho, in particular, was overcooked and the meat not as tender. See how dark the meat is? Should be that way. Still pretty tasty, though. There are those spring rolls, too. Crisped up (mostly) in a 230 degree oven for 10 minutes or so.

Thit Kho and Egg Rolls for lunch.

Thit Kho and Egg Rolls for lunch.

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Successful Housewarming

18 Feb

It took a full day of recovery to even contemplate using my brain, but I’m there. The housewarming was a success. We were afraid we prepared and purchased too much food, but we had just enough – with the exception of the monster egg rolls Thuan ordered from Eden. Still, our guests were happy to take home plates for other family members or lunch the next day which, always helps with the leftover overflow.

It was interesting to see who liked them and who didn’t – they were more like Chinese egg rolls with the filling and were huge. Like double the circumference and longer. Quite an endeavor to finish. They egg rolls were getting soggy by the time the party got going, so we set the oven to 170 and let them crisp up in the oven while guests arrived.

Anyhow, I was negligent in getting photos of all the food while playing hostess, and my father who is usually a professional paparazzi followed our explicit instructions and simply enjoyed the party (it was difficult for him, no doubt, but he didn’t lift a finger and enjoyed himself).

Canh Kho Qua (Pork Stuffed Bitter melon Soup)

Pronounced like “Kahn Who Wah” (Marines can say it – think Oorah, but without the R).

Remember I made the filling the day before, so the morning of the party all I had to do was blanch, slice and stuff the bitter melon.

For 2 lbs of ground pork mixture, I filled 10 bitter melon. When I make this for the two of us, two bitter melons and about 1/2 pound of pork will do.

Blanch the bitter melon for a few seconds in boiling water – the flesh will turn a vibrant spring green – and remove to ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cool enough to handle, slice the bitter melon in 1 – 1.5″ sections. The inside is pithy with larger seeds that must first be removed. Take a small spoon and pierce the edges where the pith meets outer green flesh all the day around. It is easier if you do this on both sides and then take your thumbs and push through to pop it out. (I’ll take photos next time – I was juggling a few kids and running behind schedule, so no time for photos).

Then, get to stuffing. Take a spoonfull of the meat mixture and fill the center, pressing on both sides to make sure it’s firmly packed. If you don’t have enough stuffing, it will probably fall out while cooking.  If you have any leftover meat, make meatballs to toss in the broth.

Stuffed Bitter Melon ready to cook

Stuffed Bitter Melon ready to cook

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