Bitter Melon with Bonito Flakes

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This is basically a kind of an ohitashi which is the Japanese way of lightly blanching vegetable and serving it with soy sauce and topping. This way of cooking highlights the flavor of the vegetable, which means, if you don’t like bitter melon, you won’t like this dish. This is also not a recipe to make you love bitter melon if you don’t like it already. We will take steps to reduce the bitterness of the vegetable though.

Essential components:
• Bonito flakes/ katsuo bushi
• Bitter melon
• Soy sauce
• Salt

• Prepare the bitter melon, cut it into halves, scoop the inside out, and slice into thin pieces
• Salt the bitter melon slices and leave for about 10 minutes to draw some of the liquid out
• Wash the salted slices under cold water to remove most of the salt, then drain, I do this process twice, then lightly squeeze the bitter melon slices to drain them more
• Drop the bitter melon into boiling water, once they change color (will only take about a minute or less), drain and drop the slices into cold water to stop the cooking, once again drain the water and squeeze gently
• Season with soy sauce and mix in a good amount of bonito flakes
• Mix everything, top with more bonito flakes and serve

Tips and thoughts:
• Don’t overcook the bitter melon, you want fresh texture for this dish
• Don’t skimp on the bonito flakes, it is an important part of the dish

goya bonito

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