Bitter Melon with Spare Ribs and Garlic and Bean Sauce

Bitter Melon with Spare Ribs and Garlic and Bean Sauce

In one of my previous posts, I had posted how to cut and prepare bitter melon.  As many of you have not read that post, I am repeating some of the instructions there to help those of you who are not familiar with cooking bitter melon but yet want to try it out.  Also, I mentioned that I would post some of my mother’s favorite recipes in cooking bitter melon.  This is one of them.


Two small bitter melons

Crushed garlic, one tbsp

Bean Sauce, one tbsp

(or, use a combined garlic and bean sauce instead.  A popular brand is the Lee Kum Kee Garlic and Bean Sauce)

1 lb of spare ribs, cut into thick pieces

Organic raw sugar, 1 tbsp

Organic coconut oil, 1 tbsp

Water, 1 cup

Preparing and cutting the bitter melon

Step 1:  Cut the melons first into halves, and then quarters.

Step 2:  Use a spoon to remove the seeds and the white pulp.

Step 3:  Cut into small pieces.

Step 4:  Bring a pan of water to a boil.  Add the cut bitter melon, and boil for about 3 mins.  This procedure is used to decrease the bitterness and to soften the melon.  If you don’t want it to be too soft, decrease the time of boiling to 1 to 2 min.

Step 5:  Remove the bitter melon pieces from the pan and drain, and let them stand.

Preparing the Spare Ribs

No need to wash or clean the spare rib.  Just put all the ribs into a pan of boiling water for a minute or so.  Take the ribs out and drain.   This process had been insisted by my mother for all types of meat with bones particularly, in order to “cleanse” the meat and bones.  I like this process and have been practicing it all the time.

Also, no need to marinate the spare ribs.  The garlic and bean sauce will already be adequate to give a strong flavor to the ribs.

Cooking Instructions

1.   Heat up the pan, and add the oil.

2.   Add the garlic and bean sauce, and sugar.  Saute.

3.   Add the spare ribs.  Saute.

4.   Add the bitter melon.  Saute.

5.   Add 1/2 cup of water, and cover the pan.

6.   Bring the mixture to boil, and add the other 1/2 cup of water.

7.   Cook the mixture for about 5 mins, or till the ribs and bitter melon are cooked.

8.  Taste the ribs and bitter melon, and add a little  garlic and bean sauce or sugar according to your preference.     Personally, I don’t like it too salty.  It is always safe to start with a small quantity of the sauce and sugar as stated in the ingredients, and then add more according to your own taste.

The dish is now ready for dinner.  Serve with Jasmine rice or brown rice.

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