Bitter Melon stuffed with Ground Pork
I had published two bitter melon recipes. This is the third one and my favorite. In fact, I did not learn this recipe from my mother, but from a lady who was buying pork in a Chinese grocery market. I just bought some bitter melons, and was waiting to buy some pork from the butcher. She saw the bitter melon in my cart, and asked me what I intended to do. As those were bigger bitter melons, she said, it would be best to make this dish, with ground pork. I listened to her, kept the recipe in my mind, and practiced! Here it is, my favorite bitter melon dish, loved by all my family members!
First of all, with this recipe, there is a different way of cutting the bitter melon. Instead of using the cutting method as shown in my previous post, here is another way of cutting bitter melon. Please refer to the collage below, where I posted the different steps in cutting the bitter melon, removing the seeds, stuffing ground pork, and then frying the pieces. I will explain the process in details below this collage.
- 1 pound of bitter melon
- 1/2 pound of ground pork
- 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoons of organic sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons of crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoons of black bean sauce
- (or a combined garlic and bean sauce, ready-made in bottles in the Chinese grocery store)
- one tablespoon of organic coconut oil
- water — 1/2 cup
- salt or pepper to taste (optional)
- a small bunch of cilantro (optional)
Cutting and preparation of bitter melon and the ground pork
- Wash the bitter melons.
- Cut into round pieces like in the above collage.
- Use a spoon to remove the seeds out from the middle part of the melon so that the melon pieces look like a ring now.
- Use soy sauce and sugar AND STARCH (most important in this recipe) to marinate the ground pork . The starch plays an important role in sticking the ground pork together in the hollowed melon.
- Spoon the ground pork into the hole of each melon ring like in the picture above.
- Heat the oil in a pan, and put the stuffed melon rings into the pan, one by one.
- Fry the melon rings one side in high and then medium heat, until it becomes golden brownish color.
- Turn to the other side of the rings and fry the other side in a similar way.
- When both sides are brownish (see the picture above), remove the stuffed melon from the pan.
- Heat the pan again with oil. Add the garlic and bean sauce and sugar. Add more garlic if you like. Saute.
- Add the stuffed melon pieces by pieces on top of the sauce.
- Add water, and cover the pan. As the pork may not be fully cooked just by frying, covering the pan will make sure the pork will be fully cooked, and the melon be softened, and the taste of the sauce be absorbed by the melon.
- Add pepper and sugar to taste.
- Take the bitter melon out piece by piece and place them nicely on a plate. Pour the sauce over the bitter melon. Garnish with cilantro if you like.
The bitter melon dish is now ready to serve. See how beautiful it is! Serve with jasmine or brown rice. I hope you would love this dish as much as I do. Try it out and let me know what is the outcome.