Pork stuffed bitter cucumber – traditional food in Vietnamese’s Tet

Khổ Qua can be translated to tough time has passed. Good luck or not, bitter gourd actually has a lot of vitamins and minerals, Wikipedia – bitter gourd. However, people in Vietnam say that pregnant women should not eat them.

For this easy to make recipe, you’ll only need one pot. The soup has a light bitter taste if you eat the gourd directly. Or you can have the soup and the meat inside without eating the gourd meat which is how our daughter ate this soup.

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Pork stuffed bitter cucumber

Ingredients to cook Pork stuffed bitter cucumber: 

2 lb bitter gourd
3 green onions (minced white parts, chopped green parts)
For the fillings
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb fish paste
0.35 oz black fungus (dried)
1 shallots (minced)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp seasoning (mushroom seasoning)
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp ground pepper
For the soup
10 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp seasoning (mushroom seasoning)
2 tsp fish sauce

Instruction to cook Pork stuffed bitter cucumber:

Step 1: Cut off two ends of bitter gourds. Cut into 2-3 inches long. Use a small spoon to remove seeds.

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Use a small spoon to remove seeds

Step 2: Dried black fungus in hot water for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain well. Cut black fungus into thin strips.

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Cut black fungus into thin strips

You also learn to cook Steamed momordica glutinous rice in Lunar New Year.

Step 3: In a mixing bowl, combine all the “Filling ingredients” and minced green onion’s white part. Mix well. (The more you mix, the more chewy texture you get.)

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Combine all the filling ingredient and minced green onion’s white part

Step 4: Stuff bitter gourd with the filling. Any left over filling, we round it into small balls. Set aside.

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Stuff bitter gourd with the filling

Step 5: Bring water to a boil on medium heat. Season with all the “Soup ingredients.” Place in the stuffed bitter gourds and meat balls. Cover and cook for 25 minutes or until just tender.

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Place in the stuffed bitter gourds and meat balls

Step 6: Ladle the soup into a bowl. Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. Sprinkle with ground pepper. Served with white rice or alone. Enjoy!

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Ladle the soup into a bowl



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