I’m not really one to do New Year’s Resolutions. They don’t have a very high success rate anyway. I prefer to be mindful of including lots of healthful ingredients year round. But to start us off on the right path both mentally and physically, we’ve decided to dedicate the month of January to wellness through food. There is a definite mind and body connection that we can engage by eating delicious, nutritious food prepared with love and care. So as these last days of December wind down, and we all look towards a brighter 2021, I want to share a quick and easy recipe for a Bitter Melon Scramble, which features one of the darlings of the Asian health scene.
Bitter melon may be new to you because it has yet to really catch on in the states; however, it is prized around the world for its many health benefits. With more Vitamin C than an orange, and micronutrients proven to help control blood sugar levels, it should be peak your curiosity! Throughout Asia, bitter melon is used to help manage and prevent diabetes. You can find lots of bitter melon extracts, supplements, and teas, but I prefer to get all those nutrients from the source. This Bitter Melon Scramble is a good introduction to enjoying bitter melon.
Breakfast For Dinner, Lunch, or Any Time
Eggs scrambles are familiar, and the richness of the eggs helps to offset the bitterness of the melon. And while you may think of egg scrambles as a breakfast dish, they also make an easy and satisfying supper as well. Sometimes when my husband and I come home late at night after a long day in a restaurant kitchen, a quick egg scramble is all we have the energy to tackle. For a comforting and filling meatless meal, try pairing the bitter melon scramble with Wild Mushroom Salad.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Prep the Bitter Melon First
Bitter Melon is bitter, as advertised. It can be an acquired taste. But with so many amazing health benefits, it’s worth acquiring. And there are ways to tame that bitterness. Before incorporating bitter melon into recipes, I salt it. The salt helps to draw out the liquid, where much of the bitterness is contained. Don’t worry, after salting, it is parboiled, which continues diluting that bitter flavor and washes away much of the saltiness.
To start, slice the melon in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds by scraping them out with a spoon. Then slice into thin crescent moons, about a quarter of an inch thick. Place in a colander and toss with the tablespoon of salt. Leave the colander to drain in the sink, or with a bowl underneath, as it will create quite a bit of liquid.
Let it drain for at least 10 minutes. While it’s draining, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Parboiling the bitter melon will both remove the salt and soften it a bit. When the water is boiling, just add the melon and cook for 1-2 minutes, and then drain and set aside.
Time to Scramble!
After salting and parboiling the bitter melon, the rest of the scramble recipe is pretty straightforward. Lightly scramble the eggs in a bowl with a fork. Dice your other veggies; I used tomatoes and onions, though red peppers and mushrooms would be at home here as well. Using a nonstick fry pan, or a well seasoned cast iron one, heat the oil and sauté the onions. When they are beginning to soften, add the minced garlic. Then stir in the diced tomatoes and cook for a couple minutes until they release some liquid. Now it’s time to add the bitter melon and stir to combine all the veggies. Generously season with pepper.
Pour the eggs over, and allow it to set for a minute. Then gently flip it over, and continue cooking until it’s set to your liking. I like a loose, softly scrambled egg so I take it off the heat quickly. But since you’re the short order cook, the eggs can be done however you like. Serve immediately because there’s nothing worse than cold scrambled eggs!
I hope you learn to love bitter melon and begin incorporating into your diet so you can reap all of its amazing health benefits. If you make this bitter melon scramble, let us know! Drop a comment, rate the recipe, and tag us in your pics on Instagram @funkyasiankitchen, show us the goods!
- 1 large bitter melon (about 8 ounces)
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- ½ large onion, sliced fine
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Wash and cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a small spoon. Slice the melon into thin ¼ inch pieces. Put the melon in a colander and salt with 1 tablespoon salt. Toss to combine and set aside for 10 mins. in the sink or over a larger bowl.
- Dice the tomatoes into ¼ inch pieces. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise, then into thin slices, and finally across the slices into cubes. Set aside.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the bitter melon and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and lightly scramble with a fork.
- Heat a large nonstick or well seasoned skillet over medium high heat. Pour in the oil and swirl to coat the surface of the pan.
- Add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion has begun to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes until they start to soften and give off some liquid.
- Add the bitter melon and stir to combine.
- Add the egg and let cook for 1 minute undisturbed. Flip the egg gently with a spatula and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes until the egg is cooked to your liking.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve immediately.
Keywords: bitter melon, meatless, eggs