If my obsession last month was broccoli, my obsession this month is bittergourd. This is the 3rd time in 3 weeks that I’ve cooked bittergourd. Yes, I know I haven’t posted anything… but both last times I was in a rush and not in the mood for blogging or the food looked unphotogenic or.. or… excuses etc.. heh
I was at a barbecue on Saturday and ate a lot of meat, so I’m on a bit of a vegetarian bend this week. Earlier in the week I had courgette, broccoli, kale & tofu, and today I had bittergourd, watercress, mushrooms & tofu.
The bittergourd I buy tend to be quite large. They are quite expensive so I try to choose one that wouldn’t be so large as to be too seedy, and not so small that I end up having to buy two. They’re not very bitter, and certainly not as bitter as the very small spikier ones (which are a different variety).
The tofu for this dish is a pre-fried, pre-flavoured variety I get from Loon Fung. It’s five spice & soy flavoured and taste very much like braised pork. Works perfectly in most stir fry as it is very tasty and doesn’t fall apart at all!
The order of cooking was… heat oil… fry garlic… add and stir fry bittergourd until starts singeing… put in mushroms & watercress… cover & steam for about 5 minutes, add tofu, soy sauce, white pepper… stir and cover another minute or two… add cooking wine, taste & add more soy if necessary… done!
Cost breakdown was.. Garlic 10p, Bittergourd £3.08, Tofu £1.50, Mushrooms 20p, Watercress 65p. That was 3 servings, with rice 90p. That comes up to £2.15/meal. Expensive.. but it had some costlier-than-normal ingredients. Was yummy though. =) I’m pretty happy with it.
On the cost breakdown of rice
I buy rice in 5 or 10kg packs, and I buy both brown and white jasmine fragrant thai rice. They tend to be about £7.50 for 5kg or £13.50 for 10. My scales tell me I use 200g uncooked for 3 servings. So that’s.. 30p for a Lysandra-sized serving.. I think that’s more than if I bought the cheapest long-grain, but on par with or cheaper than if I bought basmati or jasmine from the supermarket.