Bittergourd with pork ribs (苦瓜排骨汤) is one of my favourite home cooked Chinese soups. And it is really healthy. Just like watercress soup, bitter gourd (bitter melon) has cooling properties (among a host of other health benefits), which helps our body combat the hot weather.
I’ve always love bitter taste more than sweet, but for those who do not like bitter gourd, don’t let the soup scare you – because it actually tastes quite sweet. The pork ribs, carrots and red dates lend their sweetness to balance the bitterness. I think those who do not like to eat bitter gourd have a better chance of accepting this soup than the classic bitter gourd with egg stir fry. Adjust the sweetness of the soup by adding more or less honey red dates. To me, however, a delicious bowl of bitter gourd soup must still taste slightly bitter, therefore I do not overpower the soup with too many honey red dates. I also like to buy the most bitter bitter gourd I can find (the dark green ones are usually more bitter) when making this soup.
If you want to reduce the bitterness of the bitter gourd before cooking, you can rub a small amount of salt on the bitter gourd after removing the seeds, and then rinsing off the salt with water.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins