“Delicious bitter gourd that does not really 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 minimal, using my choosing method. I loved to cook this dish and I had to cook it deliciously and less bitterness so that my family would enjoy eating it.
It’s so simple! Just select bitter gourd with the lightest green in colour and less wrinkled on its surface. It is for sure less bitter to taste!
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 medium-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 chilli black bean and whole black beans. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add sugar and stir fry to mix well. Heat off and serve.
In fact, an alternative to using two types of beans is to add chopped fresh chilli Padi. Instead of 1 tablespoon each of the chilli and non-chili black beans, add 1.5-2 tablespoons of whole black bean and some chilli Padi. In this case, add the chilli Padi in the beginning together with garlic browning.
1 large portion of stir-fried bitter gourd with black beans counts about 60kcal only!
Tips: If bitter gourd appears too dry during the cooking process, add more water enough to complete the cooking. However, the dish should not be too watery when served. This is not a gravied dish.
* Both types of jarred black beans are available at major supermarkets and provision stores.