I found a couple of bitter melon ready to pick in my garden. I wasn’t in the mood for a namasu-style preparation and randomly looked up tsukemono and found this recipe for a nigagori no tsukudani that sounded easy and yummy.
I sliced the bitter melon in half (lengthwise) and scraped out the seeds and pith with a spoon. I then sliced the bitter melon crosswise into thin slices. Boil the slices for 2-3 minutes and then drain. In that same pot, I added about 3 tablespoons of shoyu, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of sake, and about 1 tablespoon of mirin. I also added a sprinkle of dashi and then simmered down the liquid — maybe around 5 minutes. I added roasted sesame seeds at the end. The bitterness is very mild in this dish. I think it goes really well with hot, white rice. Living Hilo Style.