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Bittergourd Pork Ribs Soup

Do you like bittergourd?

I've always loved the unique subtle bitter taste from this vegetable! Especially that bittergourd is "cooling", and is really good in this current hot weather.
 If you are not too used to the taste of the bittergourd, try to look for the lighter green ones, with more spacing in between the gourd "lines". Also, before cooking, rub the bittergourd with salt and leave it for a while before rinsing.

And yes.... It was an acquired taste, and the little one didn't like the soup lol.. Perhaps I would try with lesser bittergourd (and just bigger chunks of it) next time!

Bittergourd Pork Ribs Soup - Recipe adapted from NoobCook
(Serves 2 adults)
-  150g pork ribs
-  500ml water (about 3 rice bowl of water)
-  100g to 150g bittergourd
-  3 honey dates 蜜枣
-  5 pitted red dates 红枣
-  2 carrots, chopped into chunks
-  1 dried scallop
-  1 tbsp wolfberries, softened in water and drained

1.   Trim excess fats off the ribs. Blanch or steam pork ribs for about 5 mins. Drain the ribs and set aside. You might want to rinse the ribs from any further impurities or scum.

2.   Cut the bittergourd lengthwise into halves. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and white pulp. Cut into large chunks.

3.   In a pot, add water, bittergourd, ribs, carrots, dried scallop and dates. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 40mins.

4.   In the last 5 mins of simmering, add the softened wolfberries into the soup. Serve warm.

-  I usually use the pitted red dates 鸡心枣, which is slightly bigger than usual red dates. If you are using non-pitted red dates, do get the pits out before boiling in soup. 
-  I also like to steam the ribs in my electric lunchbox for 5 mins instead of blanching because it seems more convenient for me.

-  In about 20 mins into simmering the soup, you can taste if it is bitter. If so, you can add further honey date to your taste.

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