Some food, some smell, some music, some view, someone, some thing. These are easily connected to our memories. As for me, some food frequently does it. When I taste it, I am instantly drawn into the past and start reminiscing every moment of it.
This dish, bitter gourd & eggplant nimono, reminds me of my grandmother. She used to make this dish almost every other day in summer. As a kid, I was honestly tired of eating it because this dish was very bitter like a medicine for kids and I didn’t know why a vegetable should be so bitter instead of being delicious. But now, I, who know how nutritious bitter gourd is, love it very much.
By the way, “nimono” is one of cooking ways in Japanese cooking. Nimono means cooking and simmering with dashi (soup stock), and is such a traditional way of cooking in Japan. Nimono is served as a daily menu mostly at home.
As mentioned earlier, bitter gourds represent a taste of summer and summer in yakuzen/medicinal food theory encourages eating bitter ingredients. This dish combines bitter gourd and eggplant that is also a summer ingredient and works well on getting rid of retained water in the body. By combining bitter gourd which helps us from feeling lethargy in summer and eggplant, we can retrieve power and stay being strong and healthy even in a hot summer. I hope you will be amazed how this recipe will make you energetic!
*Bitter Gourd and Eggplant Nimono*
Benefits for: strong heart and stomach, remove the body heat, cleanse stomach and blood
1 bitter gourd
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)
1 cp bonito dashi (soup stock)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
(Option: small portion of pork which contains vitamin B that enhance the power of retrieving energy)
1. Clean and take out seeds from bitter gourd.
2. Cut bitter gourd and eggplant into a bite size.
3. Heat sesame oil in the pan.
4. Stir bitter gourd and eggplant until lightly browned (If you want to add small portion of pork as an option, stir pork and brown it before adding vegetables.)
5. Add sake, mirin, and bonito dashi. Then, simmer until vegetables get softened.
6. Add soy sauce and simmer for another few minutes over a medium heat with a lid.