I'm finally coming through on my promise to post about bitter melon soup. My roommate and I made a team effort. I played sous-chef since she had actually made it once before.
For the filling:
Broke vermicelli noodles into 2-inch pieces and soaked in warm water:
We seasoned the ground pork with garlic, fish sauce, ground white pepper, and chopped shitake mushrooms, then added the noods.
Tending to the bitter melon:
We blanched the bitter melon in boiling water:
Sliced into 3-4" pieces. One of them had dark red-orange seeds because it was a tad over-ripe. Looks pretty cool, though.
Stuffed and simmering in some home-made chicken broth we had in the freezer.
The finished product:
Notes for next time: more fish sauce, mung noodles instead of vermicelli noodles, less liquid, longer simmering.
My dad has a big trellis (like this one) that squash and melon grow on every year. I love walking beneath it in late spring as the green tendrils start working their way in and out of all the slats. Until next summer! I'll have another bitter melon recipe then.