Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

檸汁黃芥末拌苦瓜 : Bittermelon Salad in Lemon Mustard Dressing

This is another quick and seasonal summer-must-have salad, using bittermelon this time. Bittermelon is one of the commonly-seen Asian vegetable. Cantonese love to have it in summer particularly. It is believed that bittermelon is a so called ‘cold’ food in Chinese herbal medicine system and can eliminate the ‘hot’ in the body.

There are many ways to eat it, such as stir-fry, soup, tea, or even juice. Sweetness can reduce the bitterness, for example, it’s usually seasoned with a little sugar or sweet sauce when stir-fried, or add apple when juicing. In this recipe, I use lemon and Dijon mustard, the sweet and sour flavour would even brighten up the freshness of bittermelon.

Again, this is a super quick recipe. Appetizer must be quick and easy for me. Such a common vegetable can be easily obtained in most of the Asian grocery stores.

Ingredients –
Bitter melon, 1, about 400g;
Tomato, 1, medium size, optional;
Lemon, half, medium size;
Dijon mustard, 2tbsp;
Syrup, about 2tbsp.

How to do –

1. Bittermelon washed, halve, remove the seeds and the white spongy parts;

2. Slice into about half centimeter thick;

3. Poach the bittermelon in a big pot of boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes till colour changes;

4. Drain then immediately soak in icy water, so that they taste crispier;

5. Mix the juice of half lemon, with 2tbsp of Dijon mustard, and 2tbsp of syrup to balance the acidity;

6. Tomato also sliced into similar size, put all vegetables in a big bowl, pour in the dressing, a little lemon peel on top. Serve right away but even better after refrigerating for half an hour.

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