Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup

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Season about 3/4 pound of ground pork or turkey with some "white" soy sauce, minced large garlic clove, a couple of grinds of white pepper and set it aside. Take a large bitter melon and cut it crosswise into approximately 2.5-inch pieces. With a paring knife or a melon baller, scoop out the seeds and membranes in the middle of the melon and scrape the inner walls clean.

Stuff the melon cavities with the seasoned ground pork. Arrange the stuffed bitter melon pieces in a medium pot and cover them with simple chicken stock (made from nothing but fresh chicken carcasses; no herbs or vegetables). Bring the pot to a gentle boil, covered, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Season to taste with fish sauce and garnish with cilantro leaves. The soup is served the Thai way, i.e., with rice as a main course.