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Bitter Melon and Egg Stir-Fry in Black Bean Sauce

Learn how to reduce the bitterness from bitter melon, and then use it for cooking this quick and easy Chinese bitter melon and egg stir fry in black bean sauce.
Bitter Melon and Egg Stir-Fry in Black Bean Sauce.

Bitter Melon and Egg Stir-Fry in Black Bean Sauce.

Bitter melon is one of the vegetables I start to like as I grow older. I was not a fan when I was still a kid, and my Mom had a tough time convincing us to eat any of her bitter melon dishes.

Any child tends to dislike bitter food, but our palette changes over time. This dislike of bitter melon at a young age is similar to coffee. I didn’t love coffee when I was a kid, but I can’t survive without it when I become an adult.

If you didn’t like bitter melons when you were a kid, you may be surprised that you now love this vegetable as an adult. I will also teach you how to reduce the bitterness from the melon so it will be easier for the palette.

Ingredients for bitter melon and egg stir-fry in black bean sauce: bitter melon, eggs, garlic, dried red chilies, fermented black beans, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and salt.

Ingredients for bitter melon and egg stir-fry in black bean sauce: bitter melon, eggs, garlic, dried red chilies, fermented black beans, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and salt.

Ingredients for bitter melon and egg stir-fry in black bean sauce

  • bitter melon
  • eggs
  • garlic
  • dried red chilies
  • fermented black beans
  • salt
  • soy sauce
  • oyster sauce

Bitter melon

My Asian market almost always stocks fresh bitter melons. A packet usually contains two to three bitter melons. There are a variety of bitter melons, and you want to select the one you see in the photo.

The texture of bitter melon is similar to chayote or even a cucumber. The meat is crunchy, and for stir-fried dishes, we want the bitter melon to retain its crunchiness even after cooking.

Fermented black beans

The backbone of Chinese black bean sauce is fermented black beans. You can buy ready-made black bean sauce in a jar, but I think it is more economical to buy a packet of fermented black beans and make the sauce ourselves.

TIPS: If you are using bottled black bean sauce, replace fermented black beans, oyster sauce, and soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of black bean sauce.

To prepare bitter melon: (1) Cut bitter melon in half. (2) Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. (3) Cut into thin slices. (4) Rub bitter melon with generous amount of salt, rest for 15 minutes, and rinse well to remove the salt.

To prepare bitter melon: (1) Cut bitter melon in half. (2) Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. (3) Cut into thin slices. (4) Rub bitter melon with generous amount of salt, rest for 15 minutes, and rinse well to remove the salt.

How to prepare bitter melon to reduce its bitterness

  1. Start by cutting a bitter melon in half lengthwise.

  2. Use a spoon to scoop out the fibrous center and the seeds.

  3. Cut into thin slices or as directed by your particular recipe.

  4. Rub bitter melon with plenty of salt and rest for 15 minutes.

  5. Rinse bitter melon under running water to remove all the salt.

The salt will reduce the bitterness from the bitter melon, but be sure to rinse them under running water to remove all the salt from the vegetable.

(1) Lightly beat the eggs and salt. (2) Sauté garlic, chilies, and fermented black beans. (3) Add bitter melon, season with oyster sauce and soy sauce. (4) Pour the eggs over the bitter melons, and once slightly set, stir until the eggs are completely set.

(1) Lightly beat the eggs and salt. (2) Sauté garlic, chilies, and fermented black beans. (3) Add bitter melon, season with oyster sauce and soy sauce. (4) Pour the eggs over the bitter melons, and once slightly set, stir until the eggs are completely set.

How to cook bitter melon and egg stir-fry in black bean sauce

I. Prep work

  1. Follow my guide above to prepare the bitter melon.
  2. Rinse fermented black beans with cold water to remove the salt. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Lightly beat eggs with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

II. Stir-fry

  1. Heat a wok with medium-high heat. Once the wok is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the wok.
  2. Add minced garlic, dried red chilies, and fermented black beans. Fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add bitter melon and season with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.
    TIPS: If using jarred black bean sauce, add bitter melon and a tablespoon of black bean sauce.
  4. Pour eggs over the bitter melon. Once the eggs start to set, stir with a spatula until completely set.
  5. Turn off the heat and transfer the dish to a serving plate. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Transfer the bitter melon and egg stir-fry to a serving plate and serve it immediately.

Transfer the bitter melon and egg stir-fry to a serving plate and serve it immediately.

Other bitter melon recipes to try

If you love this dish, you may want to try these bitter melon recipes:

Bitter Melon and Egg Stir-Fry in Black Bean Sauce

5.0 from 8 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bitter melon, about 200 gram
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-5 dried red chilies, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinse with cold water (Note 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce

Instructions

  1. Cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the fibrous center and the seeds. Then, cut into thin 1 cm slices.
  2. Rub bitter melon with 2-3 tablespoons of salt and rest for 15 minutes. Rinse bitter melon under running water to remove all the salt.
  3. Lightly beat eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Heat a wok with medium-high heat. Once the wok is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the wok.
  5. Add minced garlic, dried red chilies, and fermented black beans. Fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  6. Add bitter melon and season with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Pour eggs over the bitter melon. Once the eggs start to set, stir with a spatula until completely set.
  8. Turn off the heat and transfer the dish to a serving plate. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Notes

  • (1) You can use a tablespoon of bottled black bean sauce to replace fermented black beans, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.
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Comments

  • eliza setiawan eliza setiawan says:

    My favorite! Too bad my husband n kids don't like it :(

  • Nicha@greenrecipes Nicha@greenrecipes says:

    I am one of those, who refused to try bitter melon since I was a child, partly also because of its name. However, I love love love loofah with egg stir-fried, which looks quite similar. Anyway, considering the health benefits of bitter melon, I may give it a try someday. :-)

  • Seema Seema says:

    Surprisingly bitter melon is my favourite vegetable. This is a much easier way to use bitter melon as the bitterness is reduced. Thanks for another idea to use for dinner.

  • Rachna Rachna says:

    I love karela or bitter gourd. I cook it regularly at home. This is an interesting recipe. I will give it a try.

  • kushigalu kushigalu says:

    Never knew you can use bitter melon this way too. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Gina Gina says:

    Such a great recipe. I really enjoyed how flavorful it was. I can't wait to make again!

  • Janie Janie says:

    I made this for my mom and she loved it. She liked the black bean sauce with the bitter melon. She saved the rest to keep in her fridge for the next day!

  • Kris Kris says:

    This was fun to make and really tasty, too! Can't wait to make again.

  • Shu-Chun Shu-Chun says:

    Love bitter melon and salted black bean, this is Authentic Asian recipe! Although I'd skip eggs to make it vegan. Saved for later. Thanks!

  • Desmond W. Dunn Desmond W. Dunn says:

    I always see your all recipe blog. But this recipe is better than all other recipes. thanks.

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