Tag Archives: Housewarming

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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