Bitter Melon and Radish Salad


Bitter Melon Salad

Bitter melon, which resembles a wrinkly, light-green cucumber, is something of an acquired taste. Soaking it in salted water to remove the bitterness is the first step in getting people to fall in love with it. It’s worth the trouble, because boiling bitter melon in water releases its antioxidant power. Bitter melon also has beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber. Asian herbalists prescribe it to diabetes patients to help them stabilize their blood sugar. This salad makes an excellent side dish for grilled meat, fish, and vegetables.

Serves 2-4

4 medium-size bitter melons
¼ cup kosher salt
Pinch of baking soda
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. white pepper
2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
2 chopped medium tomatoes

1. Slice the bitter melons lengthwise and remove all white parts, including the seeds. Sprinkle with the salt and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Rinse.
2. Cut the melons crosswise into strips. Blanch the slices in boiling water with the baking soda for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
3. To make the dressing, mix together the rice vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Let stand for up to 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.
4. Toss the melon slices with the dressing.
5. To assemble, arrange the melon slices on salad plates. Top with the chopped eggs and tomatoes, evenly divided.

Vitamin C

About Grace O

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally and recreationally all of her adult life. As a child in Southeast Asia, she learned the culinary arts by her mother’s side in her family’s cooking school. She became so well versed in hospitality and the culinary arts, she eventually took over the cooking school and opened three restaurants. She is widely credited with popularizing shrimp on sugar-cane skewers and being one of the first culinarians to make tapas a global trend. She has cooked for ruling families and royalty. Grace O’s move to America precipitated a career in healthcare, inspired by her father, who was a physician. Twenty years and much hard work later, she operates skilled nursing facilities in California. Grace O strives to create flavorful food using the finest ingredients that ultimately lead to good health. Her recipes, although low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, are high in flavor. Grace employs spices from all over the world to enliven her dishes, creating food that is different and delicious. She believes that food can be just as effective at fighting aging as the most expensive skin creams. And since she’s over 50 herself, she’s living proof of that.
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