Wednesday, January 21, 2009

wild bitter gourd

when i first saw this creeper, i thought it looked like the bitter gourd plant. it also smelled like the bitter gourd plant. i started looking for its fruit and found a few rounded ones which resembled the normal bitter gourd, albeit much smaller in size. the small yellowish flower is also similiar to those found on the normal bitter gourd climber. the leaves, though smaller, are also star-shaped.

when i touched the fruit, it 'exploded', expelling some red seeds but there was very little pulp. i found this creeper growing on the new-constructed track leading to the yet-to-be-opened dairy farm nature park.

i think this may be the same type of bitter gourd that the taiwanese and vietnamese use to make the bittergourd tea drink.

the wild bitter gourd is edible. what someone once told me about bitter gourd is true. the smaller the bitter gourd, the more bitter is its taste. it is supposed to be good for those who are diabetics as eating it can help you better control your blood sugar.

when i was young, i hated bitter gourd. i refused to eat it but now that i am much older, things have changed. i have come to appreciate eating bitter gourd, especially bitter gourd fried with tau cheo (fermented soya bean) and i also enjoy bitter gourd soup.


PChew said...

When young I disliked fatty pork, vegetables and bitter gourd. I learned to appreciate eating them as I grow older. Bitter gourd fried with oh tau cheo (fermented black beans) is one of my favourite.

nah said...

Bitter gourd is my favourite vegetable. Young immature bitter gourds are the best for cooking: the skin is bright green in color, the flesh inside is white, and the seeds are small and tender. To get rid of the bitterness, soak it in salt water for about half an hour before juicing/cooking. Then fry it with garlic, anchovies and knock two eggs to make a dish. Adding prawns, meats or anchovies will balance out the taste.

yg said...

mr chew, looks like bitter gourd suits the palate of oldies like us.

yg said...

mr nah, now you are showing another side of yours - that of an accomplished cook.