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16 Oct 2012
Wednesday, 26 July 2006
Braised Chicken With Bittergourd
Following Mike's recipe of fried eggs with bittergourd, I've also braised chicken with bittergourd (the bigger variety). This is really a very homey dish that most of us will remind us of our mom's cooking. I used to dislike bittergourd when I was a kid due to the bitterness of course but my dad forced us to eat them and green vegetables whenever we sit down for dinner. My brothers and I, darn scared of our fierce dad and have no choice but gulp them down. However, we soon learnt how to love bittergourd and other green vegetables over time.
Well, if you love this dish that your mom had made it for you, this is how it is probably done by her but this is my way of braising this dish. In case you're homesick, you may wanna try cooking this where ever you're located now.
Just clean and remove the seeds and pith from the bittergourd. Slice them into sticks (about thumb sized) and rub in some salt (I was told it will remove some bitterness). Let it rest for a while before washing them clean of salt.
I've used chicken thigh minus the skin. Chop chicken into pieces and marinade them with some soy sauce and corn flour. Get ready some minced soy bean paste and some black beans (or black bean sauce) and chopped garlic.
Put some oil in a wok and shallow fry the chicken pieces to slightly brown. You may dish out the chicken, otherwise just place them further away from the centre of the wok to make way to fry the soy bean paste and black beans in the oil till fragrant. Then add in the garlic. Stir the bean paste and garlic in the middle of the wok till you can smell the garlic. Next stir the chicken pieces into the paste. Add some water into the wok and wait for it to boil. At this stage, taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning by adding some salt or oyster sauce. Place in the bittergourd sticks next and stir to mix well. Cover and braise till chicken is tender. To reduce the gravy further (if you find it contained too much), open up the cover and let it boil till you have the amount of gravy you would prefer. I usually won't add in any corn starch solution to thicken the gravy as I prefer to keep this dish over night for the flavour to develop.
Best served with steamed white fluffy rice but in the picture above, I've served it with mashed potatoes.
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