nutrients

Bitter gourd stir fry egg mix preserved & salted

Bitter gourd is very popular vegetable throughout South-East Asian cuisines, you will find this Asian vegetable in soups, stews, stir-fry dishes and healthy juice drinks. Bitter gourd aka Bitter Melon (or Bitter squash) is now widely available in Asian supermarkets and shops.

This uneven textured green vegetable is good for one’s health. Drinking bitter gourd juice is a great way to detox your body, while regularly eating bitter gourd as a part of your daily diet is known to prevent skin ailments and aids a glowing skin. It contains a lots of vitamins ad nutrients and is especially highly beneficial for diabetics for lowering down their blood sugar levels. The bitter taste boosts the immune system and while there is no accounting for taste, you are definitely into Asian food if you serve, cook and eat Bitter gourd often.

Cut in halve, remove seed & pith

Cut in halve, remove seed & pith

Cleaning Bitter Gourd

The secret of appreciating bitter gourd is to make sure you clean the bitter gourd well;

  1. Slice the gourd in half and scrape out all the seeds with membranes and pith (white sponge), leaving only a thin layer of white 2-3mm to the green skin of the bitter gourd and cut in thin slices.
  2. Or cut cylindrical and carefully clean by hollowing and removing the insides out for stuffing and further preparation.
  3. Parboil the remaining flesh (especially with larger cuts) to mellow its strong flavor for a few minutes only, then prepare for casseroles, stir-fries, stews or soups.

With young and smaller bitter gourds I skip parboiling but make sure I clean them well and season during stir-frying, to ensure that bitterness turns into a pleasant flavor adding to the final dish.

Salted Duck eggs, Chicken eggs, Preserved eggs \.jpg.jpeg

From left to right: Salted Duck eggs, Chicken eggs, Preserved eggs

Various eggs

  • Century eggs 皮蛋 pídàn is a Chinese delicacy, preserved duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls. The traditional method of processing time depends on the method and may take several week up to several months. At present a simplified approach of soaking the eggs in a chemical bath for 10 days speeds up the aging process while wrapped in plastic. We buy both interchanging century eggs wrapped in rice hulls or in plastic packs for convenience, it can be cooked and often used in cold dishes as salads too.
  • Salted duck eggs 咸鸭蛋 xián yā dàn or 咸蛋 xián dàn (salted eggs) is another typical Chinese food preserve made by soaking the duck eggs in brine or in damp salted charcoal. You do not see them often anymore, eggs covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste, mostly they are wrapped in plastic containers or vacuum packed. We often eat them as a side dish with congee (rice porridge) or as an ingredient in baking, rice dumplings or stir-fry dishes. You need to cook salted duck eggs before further preparation in cooking or baking.
  • Eggs are a common staple food and one of the most versatile ingredients used in cooking. The most commonly used bird eggs are chicken, duck, goose. In more refined gourmet dishes the two opposites in egg sizes, quail eggs or ostrich eggs may be used.

Bitter gourd stir fry egg mix preserved & salted

While stir fried bitter gourd with eggs is a common dish found in many local South-East Asian cuisines, the origin of this dish is infused by leftover rather than a particular native dish  since we have eaten many bitter gourd egg stir fry versions. The ingredients are more or less the same the used seasonings may differ by locality and cook. A simpler version will be linked here soon.

wpid-20140511_15253101.jpg.jpeg

Sliced bitter gourd, three eggs mix and chopped garlic

Scroll down for this recipe as shown in the image.

 

Note: a word of caution while bitter gourd is highly nutritious, the vegetable should not be eaten or given to allergy sufferers, pregnant women and young children:

  • If you happen to be allergic for melons such as honeydew and cantaloupe (cucurbitaceae plants aka gourd family) you better avoid preparing or eating bitter melon.
  • For pregnant women the vegetable contains laxative component which may cause premature contraction and lead to miscarriages. Contact your doctor first.
  • For very young children, since the plant insulin is very effective in keeping blood sugar levels down it might cause the child sugar levels to drop.
  • For diabetes, you can add bitter melon to your diet but MUST check you blood sugar level and consult your doctor if in treatment with sugar medication, because bitter melon can cause your blood sugar levels fall dramatically if consumed too excessively.

Pineapple Ginger Mix – Fruit Juice recipe

Our fruit basket is mostly filled with hand fruit bananas, apples, avocados, grapefruit, oranges and a fresh pineapple. Last week a few of them still a tad unripe so I paired the bananas, avocado and pineapple to speed up the ripening process. The more perishable fruits are kept in the fridge, such as a big punnet of strawberries, raspberries. Yesterday we had a blended strawberry, raspberry, banana and yogurt smoothie for brunch. For this morning Fruit Juice Boost I opted to use my Philips HR1861 Whole fruit juicer instead to extract higher yield keeping all fruits nutritional values without waste. I have written a separate post on Fruit Juicer pro’s & con’s, just click to read the full story.

Don’t know whether you need to have a reason to start squeezing and extracting juice, but full ripe fruits sure needs to have your immediate attention to harvest nature’s nutrients at its prime. So this morning Fruit Juice Mix included; whole pineapple, the last avocado, two apples, 3 stalks celery, and half a cucumber founds it way through the feeding tube, added a knob of fresh ginger lastly, to give a zing to the mix.

Pineapple Ginger Mix

When everything went through the feeding tube into the centrifugal compartment, the juice river promptly flowed into the jug container yielding 400-500 ml of juice including a bit of foam (the bulk remained behind the divider in the plastic container jug). Poured myself a large glass (250 ml) for breakfast and kept the rest in the refrigerator for later use. The recipe is in the box down below.

wpid-pineapple-ginger-fruit-juice.jpg.jpeg

Pineapple Ginger Mix – Fruit Juice

Later in the day I prepared a triple sandwich for lunch and had the remainder Pineapple Ginger Mix poured into 2 glasses (200ml) with ¼ – ½ teaspoon of Chia seeds. Give it a good stir and let it stand it will turn the juice in viscous (thickening) fruit drink.

Now I have some great Grapefruits and Oranges left in the bowl, see for another great Fruit Juice. Click here for another Vitamine C Supercharger recipe with Citrus Boost with Grapefruit, Orange, Carrot and Ginger.

Silken tofu Smoothie with strawberries & banana

Energizing boost to start your workday, pre- or after workout, full of nutrients and proteins. Fresh fruits and Silken Tofu makes this a wonderful breakfast, a powerbooster and great muscle energizer after a fitness workout.

Tofu has a low calorie count, relatively large amounts of protein, and little fat. It is high in iron and depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, may also be high in calcium or magnesium. The perfect low-fat, low-cholesterol fresh ingredient suitable for everyone in any diet.

Silken Tofu in Smoothie’s
Using tender soft-tofu has become one of my regular ingredients in my own smoothie concoctions, I prepare this for breakfast or more often after a gym workout. After having read many advices and recommendation for protein powder based shakes I thought why not use fresh soybean milk or silken tofu instead, combined with seasonal fresh fruits or frozen berries. For a sugar sweetener variation I use honey, Torani almond syrup or non-caloric substitute Stevia, you will find the preparation in the recipe box here under. If you can not find the silken tofu or unavailable in your local toko or Chinese supermarket, you can substitute silken tofu with soy yoghurt but not with blocks of dou fu (beancurds). Although both derived from soybean it has different textures.

Silken tofu information

Soft or silken tofu is named 嫩豆腐 nen dou fu in Chinese, “soft or “smooth tofu”; 絹漉し豆腐, kinugoshi tōfu in Japanese and “silk-filtered tofu”; 순두부, 純豆腐, sundubu in Korean. More recipes will follow soon from mentioned cuisines as well as healthy recipes starting with the powerboost Strawberry-Tofu smoothie. Soft tofu, a custard like appearance has a soft and very light consistency than regular tofu. In terms of firmness the very opposite of regular tofu, silken tofu crumbles immediately. Therefore an ideal ingredient for use in protein smoothies, vegetarian dishes as in dips, baking or sauce thickening agent.

Both silken and regular tofu can be found in soft, medium, firm and extra firm packaging. Dou fu also known as bean curd is derived from soy beans and a staple food in many east-Asian and south-east Asian cuisines, but they are processed slightly differently, and are not interchangeable in a recipe. Dou fu has a subtle flavour and is used in sweet and savoury dishes adaptable to almost all cooking techniques and appeals to vegan and non-vegan whether it is raw or cooked.

Note: A personal preference, I listed ice-cubes optional because all ingredients were taken straight from the refrigerator and cooled between 5°- 7°C. It’s a well known fact that blood vessels widen and narrow due to body temperature conditions. After a workout, headaches and belly cramps do not need “ice-cold”.

Over the years I have collected quite a few cooking books, several focusing on 豆腐 dou-fu, my latest purchase is a very informative and comprehensive guide titled ‘Asian Tofu‘; Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook it at Home by Andrea Nguyen in English. Describing techniques for DIY home-cook in making home made dou fu or just cooking one of the featured 75 recipes.