Sans [ceuticals] | Heirloom Recipes 06. Palisa Anderson's Stuffed…

Heirloom Recipes 06. Palisa Anderson's Stuffed Bitter Melon in Chicken Broth


22 - 02 - 22

Second-generation restaurateur of Chat Thai, Palisa Anderson grew up in a family that was dedicated to food and flavour. Decades spent running operations and watching her family obsess over the specificities around Thai food, Palisa not only absorbed their love of food, but also the importance of food sourcing. Boon Luck Farm is a likely progression, then, for the respected cook, who now focuses her passion towards growing certified organic produce to feed into her restaurants and for other renowned chefs. It could be easy to say that she has come full circle, but is it more accurate to observe that Palisa took a path back towards the source, to get closer to the roots of food and its origin.

We asked Palisa if there were any family dishes that still linger on her mind: triggered by aroma or ingredient and nurtured by the preparation. Her answer was Stuffed Bitter Melon in Chicken Broth – a dish that, as a child, she was determined to like because her mother loved bitter melon and her mother was her hero.


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“I find bone stock-based soups comforting and nourishing, and love to make this recipe. At first, bitter melon is a vegetable that can be challenging, as the name implies, however, it works very well as foil for the meatballs. It is highly medicinal (and moreish) and is a wonderful delivery system for maximum nutrients.

This soup gets better overnight, so always make more than you think you can eat, your liver will thank you for it and I promise you’ll want to go and do chin-ups afterwards.”

Stuffed bitter melon in chicken broth [Read the recipe before you make this as there are a few steps that require advanced preparation.] Serves four

Step one: Make the stock by roasting chicken carcasses and feet until dark brown, then boil covered in water with onions, coriander roots and other root vegetable scraps, keep on a low boil for at least 6 hours- if you have a slow cooker, use it.)

Step two: Make the stuffing 1kg of pastured pork mince preferably 30% fat (it needs fat to bind well) 6 cloves of garlic minced finely 1 large knob of organic ginger grated 1 tb preserved salted radishes chopped finely 2 tsp white pepper 3tbs Braggs Aminos protein or best quality light soy sauce

1 tsp grey sea salt

3tbs best-quality sesame oil 2 organic free-range eggs beaten

Mix all the above ingredients together with your hands until well incorporated, then refrigerate covered, with a tea towel, for at least an hour. Overnight is ideal.

Step two: Prep the melon 4 medium bitter melons – choose ones that have rounded ridges Cut the melon into 10cm logs and core out the pith and seeds gently with a spoon. Fill the melon with stuffing all the way to the edges. If you have any stuffing leftover, form it into meatballs.

Step three: Make the soup 2 litres chicken stock 4 dried shiitake mushrooms rehydrated and quartered 1 bunch coriander – finely chop the stem and leaves, smack the roots until flattened 1 bunch spring onions finely sliced 2tbs of best quality light soy sauce 2tbs best-quality fish sauce

1tsp ground white pepper

2tbs of shallot oil

Bring the stock to boil with the flattened coriander root and shiitake mushrooms added. Gently place the stuffed bitter melon and meatballs into the pot and simmer on low for 20 minutes or until the pork has cooked all the way through and the bitter melon has softened. Season with Braggs and fish sauce. When ready to serve, portion out the bitter melon and extra meatballs into bowls, ladle broth over the top. Garnish with coriander and spring onions, drizzle with the shallot oil and dust with white pepper.


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