|Chinese bitter gourd omelette|
We are really starting tasting winter now — it is getting cold. My parents told me that back in my hometown, they are getting heavy snow, the first heavy snow for this winter. On the way back from city centre this afternoon, I even wished if I had a pair of gloves on, but you know, I never really liked gloves, even in the deep cold winter, my fingers got too frozen to move — I could bear with that, but never liked to put the gloves on.
Do you know in Chinese there is a funny saying of that if you have cold hands it means that there are not enough people caring for you? :)) My grandma did not like that, she always prepared some good thick winter gloves for me, and used a ‘string’ to make the two gloves attach together, then I could just ‘hang’ the gloves over my neck, so I couldn’t lose them. She always made sure that I was cared for… I began to miss northeast Chinese winter.
When I say how much I miss the winter in northeast China, everyone, who knows how cold it could get, think that I am crazy. But it is not the coldness I really miss, it is the beautiful white snow — under the moon light, the whole world turns to pinkish / orangish, I could just watch outside through the window forever; under the sun light, the whole world then becomes shining white.
I also miss the walks we took when it was snowing, for seeing how the pine trees are lowered by carrying heavy snow on its back, but still trying to stand up. I even like every exhale or every time you open mouth, each breath becomes beautiful ‘steam’ — that shows life.
And when the snow stops, everyone would go out to help cleaning the streets. If you walk around the city at that time, all you could hear is people’s talking, while busy cleaning the snow by using the shovels, as if everyone is united from a big big family.
Then in the beautiful early spring when the snow is all melting, everywhere is wet, you could hear the melted snow dripping from the roof, sound like a small stream in the mountain, as if it is informing you that spring is coming — that moment makes me really cheerful and happy.
As promised last week, today, here is a bitter gourd recipe –a simple bitter gourd omelet. However, in Chinese, it is just called “bitter gourd with fried eggs’. It is very simple to make. I think you probably already relate it to Spanish omelet from its looks. :)) It is very true, it really looks like Spanish omelet. In fact, this is one of the common ways of stir-fry egg with other ingredient in Chinese cuisine — into a thick round shaped omelette. (Of course, scrambled eggs are also good.)
The first time I saw my husband cooking Spanish omelette with spinach or with shrimps, I really thought he was cooking Chinese dishes. They are almost identical. The differences are probably that with Chinese omelette, we don’t use olive oil, rather soy oil or vegetable oil.
Oh, anther difference is that when cooking Spanish omelette, and turning the sides, normally you would need another bigger plate to transfer, while cooking chinese ‘omelette’, when it needs to be turned sides, (if you are experienced) you only need to give a quick life up of the wok, and throw the omelet to the air, let it finish its turn when lands back to the wok. Well, it can be done also because Chinese omelette is not as thick and big as Spanish ones. Anyway, so I guess this recipe is really just me sharing some ideas, rather than a unique cooking recipe. :)
As I mentioned in the last week’s post, bitter gourd is a super healthy vegetable, however, you do need to have some ‘bitterness’ tolerance, or like my husband — keep in mind, it is healthy, it is healthy. :) Almost all of the bitter gourd dishes in Chinese cuisine are considered as healthy dishes. For this recipe, for diverting the full attention from the bitterness, and for boosting the healthiness, carrots are used along with bitter gourd. Nowadays, Chinese people started taking carrots more seriously due to their healthy properties, even name it as “ginseng” on the ground. In the recent studies, it says that when the carrot touches hot oil, the nutritious can be fully released. Stir-frying carrot with eggs is a new trendy recipe lately :)
Ok, here it goes.
Eggs (3-4 eggs), bitter gourd (actually one is enough, I used two, it seems a bit too much), 1 carrot
Oil, salt, light soy saucy, MSG/vegetable/mushroom/chicken essence (optional), sesame oil
1) Chop the bitter gourd and carrot into thin slices.
2) Put sliced bitter gourd into boiling water, along with 1 teaspoon of salt, and a few drops of oil. Only leave it boiling for around 2 minutes, then remove them from the sauce pan, and rinse well in the cold water.
3) In a heated wok, pour in around 2 tablespoon of oil, when the oil is hot, add in sliced carrots for a quick stir-fry. Then leave it in the plate to allow it cool down.
4) Beat 3-4 eggs.
5) Mix prepared bitter gourd, carrots in the whisked eggs, then add in a bit more than 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, around 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of MSG/vegetable/mushroom/chicken essence (optional). Mix well.
1) In a heated wok, pour in around 2-3 tablespoons of oil.
2) When the oil is hot, add in prepared bitter gourd, carrot and egg mix. Gently move the wok to let everything evenly spread in the wok. Keep the fire medium.
3) When the top surface is seen getting firm up, not liquid, turn it the other side. (Sorry, I was too busy with throwing it up for the take, did not get the time to take photo at this stage.)
4) Keep on cooking on the other side for further 2-3 minutes —-
Very similar to Spanish omelet, no? Have it with plain boiled rice is probably not a bad idea, since we still taste the bitterness, oh, along with some soup is also good. :)