It seems to be getting more and more popular these days – bihun, hung ngang or kway teow served in bitter gourd soup…and I seem to see it being served at a number of stalls all over town now. Usually, the vegetable is cooked in soup with minced meat but the other day, I decided to use the fish cakes that my missus made sometime ago. After all, they do sell bitter gourd stuffed with fish paste in the middle at those yong tofu places and I do enjoy that.

First, I boiled three cloves of garlic and two slices of ginger in some water…

Step 1

You may want to fry them in a bit of oil first for a bit of extra fragrance but I did not fancy the extra oil used. For one thing, my missus had deep-fried the fish cakes so there would be some oil from there already.

I let it simmer for a while before adding the fish cakes, thinly sliced…

Step 2

…and once done, you may wish to add some salt and msg or some fish sauce, according to taste but I just threw in half an ikan bilis (dried anchovies) stock cube and a sprinkling of ground pepper. As you can see, there were a lot of air holes in the fish cake – probably my missus did not slam it enough in the making, I wouldn’t know, but it did not really matter as it would taste the same, just as good, and it was for our own home consumption.

Then I put in the bitter gourd, thinly sliced…

Step 3

…but just the amount that I needed at that point in time. I had intended to keep the rest of what I cooked for our soup to go with the other dishes for lunch and dinner later that day and for that, I would add the bitter gourd slices later when heating it up asΒ I don’t like the bitter gourd over-cooked and soft. In fact, it’s the same with any vegetable soup that I cook, be it sawi or cabbage or one of those leafy ones that would turn all soft and soggy when over-boiled.

There wasn’t any bihun nor hung ngang nor kwayteow in the house so I used noodles instead…

Bitter gourd fish cake noodles 1

…and topping them with the bitter gourd and the fish slices…

Bitter gourd fish cake noodles 2

…and a bit of chopped daun sup (Chinese celery), that was what I had for my breakfast that morning.

Yes, it was very nice – I certainly enjoyed that…

Bitter gourd fish cake noodles 3

…and of course, if you wish to add your own ingredients – some chopped spring onions and fried shallots…or even a poached egg, perhaps, that is all up to you. I would say that I was quite happy the way it was but no, the bitter gourd was not bitter at all, not even a little bit. I wouldn’t mind a bit of bitterness…actually.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

25 thoughts on “Bitter…”

  1. I love pork noodles in bittergourd soup. Actually I love noodles in bittergourd soup but it’s always pork noodles that comes in bittergourd soup. I tried boiling my own bittergourd soup once and OMG so bitter!!! Dunno where went wrong 😦

    People say buy the ones with broad ridges…or rub the slices with salt and rinse. I wouldn’t know – those here not bitter, chilies not spicy hot, chives and spring onions do not have any smell/fragrance, terung Dayak not sour – things are simply no longer the same, anymore. 😦

  2. Boiling the garlic and ginger seems like a great idea! πŸ™‚

    That will add flavours to the soup and help tone down the fishy or meaty smell in it.

  3. If those photos could smell… that looks awesome, I fear I fail if I try to cook it!

    My cooking is always easy, very simple as I’m basically a lazy person. Anything that entails a lot of work, I would not bother already. Use (minced) meat for the stock – that’s what people normally do. I wanted to finish off the leftover fish cakes plus I did not have any minced meat in the house and was too lazy to defrost anything else that might have been in the freezer.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. Lovely blog, you have. Will hop over and browse when I’m free. Cheers!

  4. Your bittergourd noodles look so nice, I want two bowls please, haha.. Yeah outside stalls are selling these bittergourd noodles with miced pork balls and fishballs, just like what you made, but of course not as much ‘liew’ as yours..

    I’ve had this at a few places here, not many, and I quite enjoy what I had…but I’ve always been a fan of clear soups.

  5. Not really fancy those noodle served in bittergourd soup although I am a bittergourd soup fan. Haha.

    Bittergourd soup is good for cooling and detox.

    It is? Must have more now then. πŸ˜€ They say anything that is bitter is good, has health benefits.

  6. Used to make bittergourd stuff with fish paste/meat or just stir fry with egg but have never try cooking with noodles and I like its clear soup. Nowadays bittergourd are not bitter at all and same goes with the big chilli.

    Precisely! I wonder why! 😦 Yes, nice to fry with egg…or salted egg. Love it like that too!

  7. I was told, the older bitter gourd tends to be softer and less bitter. Young bitter gourds are super crunchy and super bitter. I will never buy bitter gourd to self cook, not my most favorite vegetable in the world to be honest, and when we eat out, we would specify old bitter gourd when we order bitter gourd dish πŸ˜€

    First time hearing that.

  8. Very nice! I want to try cooking this way. My partner loves noodles in bittergourd soup. He gets that from the hawker stall. Maybe I should surprise him one day πŸ™‚

    Go ahead! Make his day! πŸ˜‰

  9. Bitter gourd soup is popular in jb and the soup and the vegetables actually not that bitter after its being cooked. Dipped into some chilli and it was great. It’s ‘cooling ‘ too !

    Cooling eh? I know it has health benefits, never checked it out.

  10. Actually it’s good if the bitter gourd has a bit of bitterness, but of course some do not like it, especially my kids. I like bitter gourd omelette πŸ™‚

    Omelette? Now, that’s an idea – never tried that. Fried with egg, yes…but not cooked in an omelette. Me too, I would prefer it a bit bitter, just a bit. The ones we have these days do not have any trace of the bitterness at all and it sure does not feel like eating bitter gourd when eating that.

  11. Your cooking always look simple and quick and yummy! I think i will like this bitter gourd soup. Have not try the soup version, but i do eat bitter gourd. Especially indian food the fried bitter gourd, yum!

    Yes, love the Indian ones. My girl loves those so much. Maybe I should google the recipe and give it a try. Hope it’s not too complicated.

  12. As if life is not bitter enough, even food also has to be bitter LOL

    p/s: sorry for commenting late, just started work for a couple weeks, many things to pick up.

    Yes, MIA most of the time. Wahhhhh!!!! Working already? $$$$$$$$ rolling in, eh? When’s pay day? I’d better hop over for one helluva big treat! Hehehehehehe!!!!!

    Some bitterness is good, not sweet all the time. Will be a better person to face life ahead. Old people say in Hokkien, “Bay hiao ciak kho!” (Cannot eat bitterness, meaning cannot endure hardship)

  13. I love the photos showing what you did. I can almost smell the fragrance.

    I haven’t made my own fish cakes yet, but I have added that to the list of things to do this coming weekend. When I looked at the cakes, I was wondering if they were prepared at home. I bet they were delicious.

    My missus made them – not smooth and fine as they were all fish. The ones sold commercially contain a lot of flour (and artificial flavouring) – they will expand from little balls to the size of golf or tennis balls even when boiled. That just about shows how much flour is used in the making. No way can they be as nice as own made ones.

  14. i used to hate bitter gourd with a vengeance when i was a kid, and refused to eat more than two bites of it. but now i’m ok with it, and i do appreciate all its health benefits πŸ™‚ anyways, i think your recipe looks very tempting and appetising πŸ™‚ are very kind. πŸ˜€ Me too. Would not touch it with a 10-foot-pole but my time, the cane ruled. πŸ˜₯ Now, I love it but I prefer the not-too-bitter ones. Some are not bitter at all these days, not really like bitter gourd.

  15. This is a new way for me to use bitter gourds. We usually stir fry them and never seen it in noodles. Got to try this.

    It is getting more and more popular at the shops these days but they use minced meat for the soup though.

  16. Love that there are only a few ingredients used in this!!! Nice. The bitter gourd color is so vibrant, too!

    Yes, best not to overcook as it loses that nice colour. Undercooked, it will be hard and not that pleasant to eat.

  17. Interesting trend!

    I like it! Bitter gourd is one of the few vegetables I first started liking, love the texture and the taste. I’ll love to try it when I come back too – wanted to make the trip but just found out my dad was in Singapore so no point in coming back until he’s back.

    Yours looks delicious and your bitter gourd is so green! πŸ™‚

    Oh? He’s not around? Looking forward to your coming home – we can go some place for this biter gourd treat. So far, they do it pretty well too at the stalls – very green, not overcooked and soft.

  18. I love bitter gourd. Sometimes fry with an egg to make bitter gourd omelet. If cooking soup, I will add in a salted egg. Yumm..

    Oh? I would do it the other way round. Egg in soup, salted egg when fried.

  19. we used to stir fry only for bitter gourd here in Indonesia, never known any soup based dish made out of it,
    this recipe is totally worth to try!!!

    We have. My mum used to stuff minced meat in the hole in the middle and use that to cook soup. For “yong tofu”, they use fish paste instead of the meat and they do serve that in soup too. There is also the steamed version…but I tried once and the meat shrank and would not stick to the bitter gourd. Failed big time. 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: