This bitter melon recipe pairs two strong flavors—and bitter melon, a vegetable with a strong chalky flavor.
Bitter melon is a bit of an acquired taste—parboiling makes it less overpowering. Pork with bitter melon could serve 3 to 4 as part of a multicourse meal, or make a main meal for 2 when served over rice.
Here is another bitter melon stir-fry recipe.
- 1 pound bitter melon
- 1/2 pound lean pork
- 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Pinch of freshly ground black or white pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon Chinese salted black beans
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- Salt or pepper to taste, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Cut the ends off the bitter melon and cut in half lengthwise (do not peel). Remove the seeds and pith from the middle of the melon with a small spoon. Cut the melon diagonally into thin, 1/4-inch slices.
- Place the sliced bitter melon in the boiling water and parboil until it is just tender (2 to 3 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- Cut the pork across the grain into very thin, 1/8-inch thick slices that are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Place in a bowl and add the soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of the rice wine or sherry, sugar, pepper, stirring to combine. Add the cornstarch last, stirring well. Let the pork stand at room temperature while preparing the other ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth and remaining 1 tablespoon sherry. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water and set aside.
- Rinse the black beans to remove excess salt. Mash the beans with the side of a cleaver or the back of a spoon. In a small bowl, stir together the beans and chopped garlic with a small amount of water.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a preheated wok. When the oil is hot, add the bean-garlic mixture. Cook, stirring, for about 15 seconds until aromatic, then add the pork. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pork turns white and is nearly cooked. Remove the pork from the pan.
- Heat 1 to 2 teaspoons oil in the wok, as needed. When the oil is hot, add the bitter melon. Stir fry for a minute, then pour in the chicken broth mixture. Add the pork back into the pan, stirring to mix everything together. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Re-stir the cornstarch/water mixture. Push the other ingredients to the sides of the wok and add it to the chicken broth in the middle of the wok, stirring to thicken.
- Stir everything together, stir in the sesame oil, and season with salt or pepper if desired. Serve hot.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||8 g|
|Saturated Fat||3 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||3 g|
|Dietary Fiber||5 g|