"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.