Monday, March 18, 2013

Bitter Melon

One thing that took me a bit to decide to try was something called 'bitter melon.'  I read a few places it is something that is really good for your health (something that should have clued me in that I would like it... wheatgrass shot, anyone??) however I shyed away.  That is until my stomach had been hurting for days and I read that bitter melon was something that could help.  Since you can get bitter melon very inexpensive in Cambodia I figured why not give it a try.

And I love it.

I've only made one recipe however I've made it several times so I figured I would share with you!

Kristie's Stir Fried Bitter Melon Recipe
(for one person)

My recipe looks similar to this...
I grabbed this pic from the web.

1 bitter melon (Cut several in half, scrape out the seeds, slice thinly (little moon shapes)
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 onion, sliced thin
1 carrot, sliced thin
1/4 cup frozen peas

1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tbsp miso paste

I put the soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and miso paste in a small sealable container and shake to mix up.

In a small bowl put the bitter melon with a little bit of salt.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then add the onion and carrot and cover with cool water.  I let this sit for about 10 minutes to soften. Discard water.

In a fry pan over medium heat add the oil, bitter melon, onions, carrots and garlic.  Stir fry to soften (about 2-3 minutes).  Add the sauce.  Let cook until vegetables are soft and the sauce is well incorporated into the vegetables.  Turn off the heat.  Add the peas and let sit until no longer frozen.

Its pretty easy and  pretty delicious (with the sweet of the vinegar and the bitter of the melon I like how the flavors work out).  I have had it with many things on the side (noodles, rice, taro rice cake).  I've also added protein sources (egg or tofu).  And have liked it every way I have made it.

Sunday, March 03, 2013


Mmmm... Korean food... I seem to want it all the time lately.

I have been to a Korean friends house where they serve their kids what they call 'kimbap' but its really just taking rice and wrapping it in seaweed.  Which is delicious but I've learned that its not really kimbap.

For the first time I got kimbap from the school cafeteria.  I don't know why I waited so long!!! Its only $1 and its amazing.  Needless to say I'll be doing this a lot more often.

Well, all this to say I've been sick for a bit and now I'm on a short term 'diet' where I'm limiting any simple carbs that I eat.  Can I tell you how hard that is in the land where all food comes with white rice and all sauces use sugar??

Basically that means I'm having to cook.  And I'm too lazy to cook anything difficult.  So, I bought brown rice from the market (it pained me to have to buy uncooked rice when cooked white rice is so cheap and plentiful here) and cooked some up the other day.  At home I had seaweed so I decided to make the kid version of kimbap at home...  it was delicious!! I have had it every day for the past 3 days and I love it more and more... even when I use cold rice (I don't have a microwave to easily heat up left over rice so I eat it cold...).  For as much as it hurt to buy rice at the grocery store, I was reminded of how much I LOVE brown rice.  Yummy!!

So I figured I would share the recipe here so you can make it at home.

Super Easy Kimbap

cooked brown rice
seaweed sushi wraps
salt and pepper

I tear 1 sheet of seaweed into 4 square pieces.  I then put 1 to 2 tbsp of rice into the wrap.  Add salt and pepper.  Fold the sushi wrap around the rice and eat.

Can it get easier than that??!!??

If you want a more Korean version of kimbap you can try this recipe.  I found it online and it looks delicious and still pretty easy.  In fact, I may try it at home myself soon... on a day I don't feel like being lazy.  Well, maybe I'll just buy it in the cafeteria.