Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sunday Feast

Last Sunday, my brother-in-law was in the mood to make several dishes for the meal we normally have. For me, he wanted to make a dish with Suan Tai, or Garlic Stems, and scallops, the one I wanted to try, the second I like. It's a simple dish, just add a little starch to the scallops to make them a little more juicy, then stir fry them, adding a little salt, with the suan tai until the juice that escapes from the scallops is cooked off.

The second of the dishes is one of the most colourful, and therefore thought to be one of the best dishes. It combines the yellow of scrambled eggs, the red of tomatoes and the green of spring onions. Scramble the eggs on a non-stick frying pan, then add the tomatoes, cut into large pieces, and spring onions, chopped into small pieces, and fry until the water from the tomatoes is cooked off, stirring the ingredients occasionally to keep from burning. It tasted pretty good and would be very easy to make.

Next comes a dish with East melon, perhaps also called Winter melon, an interesting dish, combining mushrooms and shrimp with the melon. This dish is best made with small dried shrimp, which can be found at most Chinese Supermarkets, though you can always substitute fresh shrimp. This is cooked in a wok or deep dish frying pan, until the melon becomes translucent, about 45 minutes. It ends up being mostly a soup, and you can add a little starch to thicken the liquid at the end.

The last dish was one that he made as a request from me, as I wanted to try bitter melon, a vegetable I had heard about was good for reducing internal heat, mostly it's eaten in summer. As most foods are that are "good for you", it doesn't taste the best, it is quite bitter, and often people boil it for a couple of minutes to remove the bitterness, and even add a little sugar to cover it. We did neither. First he cut it in half, then he removed the inner seeds. Slicing it fairly thin, he then stir-fried it with pork, adding a little salt. It did taste very bitter, and it's not something I would want to eat every week.

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