Archive for June 16th, 2010

After writing the previous post, I decided to make stuffed ku gua with the last bitter melon from The Cat’s friend.  One of my father’s favorite dishes was stuffed ku gua.  

He didn’t make stuffed ku gua often, but when he did, it was an event.  He like to mix the ground pork with fish cake.  He would add dried mushrooms (reconstituted), water chestnuts, green onions, seasonings (salt, shoyu, etc) and an egg to the mix.  After preparing the ground pork stuffing, he would cut the bitter melon into sections.  I would help him core the melon sections and stuff them.  To cook the stuffed bitter melons, he would first brown both ends of each section to form a crust.  He would then add water and Chinese fermented black beans and “steam” the bitter melon (similar to making potstickers).  After the water and black beans evaporated a little, he would add a corn starch slurry to thicken the sauce. 

Since the dish is steamed, the ku gua tends to lose its color (turns yellowish).  Because of this, stuffed ku gua is not The Cat’s favorite way to eat ku kua.  But because we already had ku gua in a salad and stir-fried, The Cat said okay to do the stuffed bitter melon. 

I did not prepare the ground pork as complex as my father’s.  I just added sugar, salt, Shao Xing wine, ground ginger, and an egg to the ground pork.  For the steaming or braising liquid, I used dark shoyu and brown sugar.  I skipped the corn starch.  The stuffed ku gua came out close to what I remembered.  Even The Cat didn’t mind the dish. 

Raw Kua Gua Waiting to be Stuffed

Stufed Ku Gua

The picture above doesn’t include the pan sauce.  I didn’t want the sauce to obscure the stuffed ku gua. 

Here’s to all the fathers.  Happy Father’s Day (a little early). 


The Mouse

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