Friday, July 4, 2008

Vietnamese Bitter Gourd Soup (Canh Muop Dang)

"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." -- Hippocrates

This motto was taken very seriously by my family and must be the reason why I was forced to eat bitter gourd as a child. I pouted, cried and threw tantrums to get out of eating this horrible vegetable, but failed every single time. I’ve reluctantly acquired the taste for it over the years, and now bitter gourd soup is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes.

This gourd is used while immature when the flesh is still juicy and crunchy. I like to remove the pith and seeds and slice it thinly to use in a basic fresh shrimp broth like my opo squash soup and winter melon soup.


q-pig said...

I think I just starved myself when my parents forced me to eat it. Yuck! I still have no desire to eat bittermelon. Never liked it. Never will.

Gastronomer said...

Poor child! I lucked out because bitter melon soup was not in the canh rotation in my house.

Lindsey said...

the fact that you enjoy canh muop dang is very impressive.
its gross. case closed.

Jennifer Popjoy said...

Where's the recipe! I grew up with a Vietnamese best friend and her mom would make this all the time. I miss it, but all the recipes I'm finding call for stuffing bitter melon rounds w/ pork instead of how you have it in the picture. =(

Tia said...

Hi Jennifer - I didn't post the recipe because this soup doesn't have a lot of lovers. :) However, I did link to my opo squash soup and winter melon soup, which is basically the same recipe since the prawn broth is very popular for Vietnamese vegetable soups. I hope you'll enjoy it! :)