Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stir Fried Sliced Bitter Melon with Pork and Egg (serves 4 as part of a shared meal)

I enjoy eating bitter melons. These are quite bitter and some people may not like the taste so much for this reason. I came across some fresh looking ones at An Trach Market. The vendors at this market are very generous to me. Many of them always ask what I plan on making and then add some extra ingredients for free so I can complete the dish. When I bought these I had not decided on what to make but thought about making a soup for my grandmother. The woman selling these gave me some scallions and cilantro so I can make it!

When I purchase bitter melons I tend to choose the small ones instead of large. I heard that some people think the larger ones have less bitterness but I really cannot tell the difference. Once home I cored and sliced them very thinly. Then I washed and massaged them in salted water. I rinsed them well and squeezed out the water with my hands before cooking to help remove some of the bitterness. I made this a little on the drier side since I like it this way but my uncle prefers a little more liquid. If you prefer it that way then add a little broth to this dish.

bitter melons with extra free scallions and cilantro
from an An Trach Market vendor
halved and cored
sliced bitter melon with shallot and garlic

1 1/2 Tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed, chopped
1 shallot, peeled, sliced thinly
1/2 cup of sliced pork
4 small bitter melons, halved, cored, sliced thinly, washed, squeezed dried
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1 egg, whisked lightly with a fork


1) Heat a wok or large pan over high heat.
2) One the wok or pan is hot, add oil.
3) Add garlic and shallots, saute about 30 seconds.
4) Add pork. Saute about 2 minutes or until the meat is just cooked. Push the meat to the sides.
5) Add bitter melons and saute about 5 minutes or until wilted to your preference.
6) Add fish sauce, and sugar. Saute about a minute.
7) Add egg and stir for about a minute.

*If you prefer this dish with more liquid you may add some broth (about 1/4 cup or even more) in step 6.
*My grandmother likes to eat this with a little squirt of Maggie soy sauce.

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