“Delicious bitter gourd that does not taste bitter”
Bitter gourd aka bitter melon is well-known with its rich nutritional properties. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, iron, beta-carotene, calcium and potassium. It has high dietary fiber and very low in calorie. Many Chinese families also believe in its cooling effect to reduce ‘heatiness’ in the body. However, not many take bitter gourd, despite all the health benefits it has. As its name implies, this vegetable tastes bitter!
However, you may limit its bitterness to the minimum, using my choosing method. I love to cook this dish and I have to cook it deliciously and less bitter so that my family will eat more.
It’s so simple! Just select bitter gourd (big one) with lighter green in colour and less wrinkled. It is for sure less bitter to taste!
1 arm-lengthed bitter gourd, washed, removed seeds and thinly sliced
2 – 3 tablespoons of black bean paste (with whole beans)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red chilli julienne
Pinch of sugar
⅓ cup of water
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1) Soak whole bitter gourd with salted water for 15 minutes. Slice bitter gourd into halves, remove seeds using metal spoon, and thinly slice the halves, crosswise.
2) Heat wok with oil over high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry till golden brown. Reduce heat to low-medium fire. Add in bitter gourd and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add water and cover wok with lid to simmer for 5 minutes, or until cooked (bitter gourd should appear slightly darker green).
3) Remove lid, add black beans and chilli. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add sugar and stir fry to mix well. Heat off and serve.
In fact, I mixed two types of black bean paste. 1 tablespoon each of Chilli and non-chili black beans into the dish. It’s an alternative of using fresh chilli julienne. I’ll leave the choice to you (smile)!
1 large portion of stir-fried bitter gourd with black beans counts about 60kcal only!
Tips: If bitter gourd appears too dry when simmering, add more water enough to complete the simmering. However, the dish should not be too watery when served. This is not a gravied dish.