Learn how to make this delicious savoury dish hailing from China. Bitter melon isn’t commonly used in Western cuisine, but popular in Asian cuisine for its many health benefits, including reducing blood sugar levels. A tip? Blanching the bitter melon reduces its bitterness somewhat.
- 1 bitter melon
- 2 salted eggs (see Note)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 small green shallot, finely sliced
- 10 g (about 2 cm) ginger, very finely sliced
- 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- few drops of sesame oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer bitter melon for 3-5 mins, until starting to soften, then cool in iced water. Halve lengthways, scrape seeds out with a spoon and slice thinly.
Break salted eggs into a bowl, and mash with a fork. Heat a wok over medium heat. Add oil and fry shallots, ginger and garlic for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Turn heat to high, add prepared bitter melon and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add salted eggs, sugar, salt to taste, and stir-fry until egg is just cooked. Add a few drops of sesame oil before serving.
• Salted duck eggs are available from most Chinese food shops.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.