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Thai Bitter Melon Curry Shrimp
I just went to the Asian grocery store which I do once or twice a month. Every time I go there I buy some fresh vegetables that I cannot find in my local grocery stores. I saw some beautiful green bitter melons sitting in a big bucket, and it was like a magnet drew me to them. I knew I had to buy them.
If you knew me like ten years ago, you would not believe that I would be crazy about the bitter melon. When I was little, someone told me that my taste of food would change as I age. I think that person was right. Eating bitter foods was very hard for me. I am glad that my taste buds have adapted themselves to enjoy the bitter taste so that I can savor the bitter melon as much as I want.
There is a Thai idiom that says หวานเป็นลมขมเป็นยา (Whan-pben-lom-khom-pben-ya) which means- good medicine tastes bitter. Researchers have found that the bitter melon is good for people who are fighting with type-2 diabetes. The bitter melon has compounds called Polypeptide-P and Charantin which can increase glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in the liver cells, muscle, and fat tissue and reduce the blood sugar levels. With the abundant of fiber in the bitter melon, it can help our digestive system and prevent us from constipation problems. Bitter melon is a very low-calorie fruit (Yes! it is a bitter fruit), and it packs with vitamin A, B, C, folates, zinc, and potassium. Technically, anything that has seeds is a fruit.
Sometimes the bitter melon can be too bitter to handle. No worries, I have little tips for you to make it less bitter.
If you are not intimidated with the bitterness. Here is the method for you.
- Wash the bitter melon.
- Cut it half on horizontal then cut it half on vertical.
- Use a spoon to scratch and take the seeds and foamy white stuff inside the bitter melon out.
- Slice the bitter melon about half centimeter thick.
- Mix some salt with water and soak the sliced bitter melon in it for 15-20 minutes.
If you are not sure, whether you can handle the bitterness of the bitter melon here is your method.
- Follow step 1-4 on the above.
- Add some water (enough to cover the bitter melon) in a small pot and heat it on high.
- Add some salt to it and wait until the water is boiling.
- Add the sliced bitter melon into the pot and wait until the water is boiling again. Count 1-10 and turn off the stove.
- Transfer the bitter melon into a bowl filled with cold water to maintain the crispiness of the bitter melon.
- Strain the bitter melon from the cold water after it cools down.
Now, you know how to tackle the bitterness of the bitter melon. Here is the recipe of the Bitter Melon Curry Shrimp for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- • 1 lb. bitter melon
- • 8 oz. large shrimp
- • 1-2 tbsp. red curry paste (1 tbsp. for mild, 1 ½ tbsp. for medium, 2 tbsp. for spicy)
- • 1 cup of coconut milk mix with 1 cup of water (I could not find lite coconut milk, so this is how I make my lite coconut milk).
- • 1 tbsp. olive oil
- • 1 ½ tbsp. fish sauce
- • ½ teaspoon Truvia sweetener
- Wash, cut and slice the bitter melon (follow the method above the recipe).
- Heat olive oil in a pot on medium-high.
- Add red curry paste into the hot oil and stir-fry until you can smell the red curry aroma (about less than 10 seconds).
- Add 1 cup of the mixture of coconut milk and water. Stir-fry the red curry paste in the coconut milk until it is boiling.
- Add the bitter melon and add another cup of the coconut milk and water mixture. Simmer it about 4-5 minutes.
- Add fish sauce, Truvia, and shrimp. Simmer until the shrimp is cooked. Turn off the stove. Serve with brown rice.
If you want to try Bitter melon recipe, but do not like spicy food neither curry. Here is another recipe of Bitter melon you may like.