Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bitter guard soup

I was in the wet market this morning.  Overheard 2 ladies sharing their ingredients and methods of cooking soups.  I was curious when they were mentioning about cooking bitter guard soup.  I was wondering how to cook soup with such a bitter melon. I joined them to know more about this soup and wanted to try cooking it.  They were so generous that they shared with me the ingredients for boiling the soup. There are 2 main types of bitter guard in our market, the normal and the small very bitter bitter guards.

Many has turned bitter guard into capsules and tea bags dueto the medicinal use.  In fact, many Chinese has been using this melons as remedy for reducing high blood pressure and diabetic.

The ingredients for the soup

300 g bitter guard
4 medium tomatoes
150 g char choi(sichuan pickle)
300 g port or chicken
4 pieces of to fu
8 bowls of water.

Soak the char choi for at least for 1 hour.  Wash and sliced.  Wash and scald the meat for 5 minuted. Rinse and drained. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Remove the seeds of the bitter guard.  Cut into 4 cm slices.

Boil the water in a soup pot. Put in all the ingredients except the to fu.  Simmer for about 1 hour in low fire. Need not add any salt because the soup get the taste of salt from the char choi. Off the fire then put in the to fu. Serve hot with rice.

Bitter guard soup garnish with chopped spring onion and parsley

Surprisingly there is no taste of bitterness in the soup but sweet from the meat, a little of sour taste from the tomatoes, and a special taste of (kam kam).  My husband like this new soup very much and me too.


It has been more then ten years since I last cook spaghetti. I can't recall when did I last cook this dish for my family. When I went for shopping yesterday, walked pass the noodle and spaghetti section, picked up a packet of angle hair spaghetti. According to my friend, this type of spaghetti cook very fast like cooking normal noodles.  Picked up a can of tomato paste and some fresh tomatoes and was ready to cook the spaghetti sauce.  Here are the ingredients that I used for my spaghetti.

the ingredients

3 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 packet of the spaghetti
1 can 250 g tomato paste
2 tbsp of cooking oil
1 chopped onion
3 pips of chopped garlic
300 g chicken breast
salt to taste
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp corn flour
1 tbsp light soy sauce
shredded carrot and cucumber

Wash and clean the tomatoes.  In a sauce pot, boil enough water so to boil the tomatoes for about  minutes. Remove the tomatoes and put into a basin of ice cold water, this helps to remove the skin of tomatoes easily.
Meanwhile, clean the chicken breast, sliced and minced.  Season with the pepper, corn flour and light soy sauce.  Set aside.
Peel off all the skins of the tomatoes and diced . In a sauce pot, heat up the oil and fry the onion until fragrant.  Add in the diced tomatoes, basil and oregano and stir mix well.  Let simmer for about 1 hour in low fire.  Keep stirring in between the cooking time.  After an hour of cooking, add in the tomato sauce, salt and sugar. Stir well.
In a frying pan, heat up a tbsp of oil, fry the garlic until fragrant, briefly stir in the seasoned chicken breast for about 2 minutes.  Remove and pour into the spaghetti sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Chicken breast spaghetti sauce

In another pot , boil enough water with a tsp of salt and oil .  Put in the spaghetti when the water is boiled. Cook for about 5 minutes or until is soft enough, drained.

Serve hot with shredded carrots and cucumbers.
Looks good and taste good too.  Not bad though it has been a long time.