Fuu Gwah or bitter melon is looks liek a cross between a shar-pei dog and a bright green cucumber.
As its name it is bitter... Bloody bitter. like yuky bitter. Dad use to cook it in a dish for us when we were kids, usually with beef and black bean. My younger brothers and myself hated it! We could tolerate the beef but the melon, avoided it like the plague.
Why am I bringing this up? Food Blogs.
I was surfing the net and came across pinoycook's food blog a filipino mother recording traditional recipes, She has a recepie for Bitter Melons, and her comments conjured up my childhood memories of this vegetable.
My most desparing moment with this vegetable occured when we went to an auntie and uncle restuarant owner for dinner. I remember they always had the best chinese soups. And I always wanted 2 bowls of the stuff, it was always sweet and hot, and very flavoursome. mmmm! soup!
But this time it was different...
The bowl of soup was clear, a few bits of flesh floated in the soup but it was totally edible.
My mouth watered and eagerly I took a sip from the edge... YUK!!!! it was bitter melon soup!! how gross! The biggest disappointment of my life at that point of time.
I complained and was simply told that it was "cooling" and good for a growing kid. (like pinoy - and how would that excuse convince a kid to eat it). But the threat of dad yelling did, so i had to screw up my face and i swallow.
I think Fuu Gwah is the asian version of Brussel sprouts.
I have since found out that this vegetable is indeed very healthy for you. Studies have shown that it can reduce blood sugar levels thus diabetic prevenataive, HIV and cancer.
Hint from Pinoy: Choose the bitter melons with the least amount of wrinkles, these will tend to be less bitter.