Bitter gourd soup is a healthy soup dish prepared with bitter gourd as the main ingredient. The soup is slightly bitter in taste due to the presence of bitter gourd, but the bitterness is reduced with the inclusion of other flavorful ingredients.
In terms of health, this soup is an extremely nutritional and believed to cure various ailments.
Preparation of Bitter Gourd Soups
There are several varieties of bitter gourd soup prepared in different cuisines with varied ingredients and methods. The bitter gourd is generally deseeded before cutting into thin slices for soup. To reduce the bitterness of the gourd before cooking, it is advisable to rub little salt on the deseeded gourd and leave it for some time. Salt can be rinsed just before slicing the bitter gourd. Honey or bit of sugar is added in the soup to remove the excess bitter flavor after cooking.
Combining all the ingredients and simmering them for a few minutes is usually all that it takes to make the soup. If meat is being used, it is better to cook them beforehand and use the broth as the soup base. The boiled meat chunks can be added as garnish.
Popular Bitter Gourd Soups
- Bitter gourd soup with pork ribs – This is a very popular Chinese soup dish that includes blanched pork ribs and soaked wolfberries along with bitter gourd and minimal seasoning. Dates are also added to the soup for extra crunch. It is basically a clear soup that is most commonly served with steamed white rice.
- Soup with stuffed bitter gourds – It is a Vietnamese creation that includes any leftover meat stuffing for the bitter gourds. Oyster sauce and fish sauce are quite often added to season the meat stuffing. The seeds of the bitter gourd are scooped out and discarded. Blanching the gourds is good before stuffing. It is suggested to keep the gourds little crispy and not too soft after blanching. Stuffing is filled generously in the gourds and they simmered in vegetable stock. It is a complete meal with boiled rice.
Nutritional Facts Related to Bitter Gourd Soup
Due to the presence of bitter gourd the soups provide the following benefits:
- The soup is light on palate and easy to digest.
- It is a rich source of vitamin C, iron, copper and potassium.
- Extremely beneficial in reducing sugar levels in blood.
- It is an excellent blood purifier.
- Quite effective in treating anemia, asthma, breathing problems and skin diseases.
- Cough, fever and jaundice can also be treated with the regular consumption of this soup.