Cantonese Style Bitter Melon Minced Pork

Bitter Melon Pork pic10

Even though the hot summer season is winding down, our vegetable garden is still going strong. We had a difficult time getting the garden started this spring. Nothing wanted to grow. We lost about half the seedlings planted in the ground. Luckily the survived bitter melon plants are catching up to the growing season, producing plenty of flowers and fruits. We could not be happier to finally pick bitter melons. Lynard is especially excited to see the garden flourishing because he has been working tirelessly taking care of our edible vegetable garden. So pretty, even the bees and butterflies are dancing for joy.

Bitter Melon Pork pic6

Bitter Melon Pork pic11

Growing bitter melon is important to Chinese gardeners. If they have space, they grow bitter melons. Some people hate the unpleasant bitter taste while others absolutely love the bitter, sweet flavor of bitter melons. The secret is to embrace the unique flavor rather than resisting it. Homegrown bitter melons are not as bitter as those you get from the stores. Cooking it the right way, a classic Chinese dish Bitter Melon Stir Fry with Beef
苦瓜炒牛肉 is worth dying for. Now there is nothing bitter about that. And the health benefits of eating bitter melons are far reaching into both Asian and western countries. Everybody knows eating bitter melons often can help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It can also help to control high blood pressure and increase your immune system to fight against infections and diseases.

Bitter Melon Pork pic12

Bitter Melon Pork pic15

Traditionally Chinese people like to cook bitter melons with either chicken or beef. For as long as I can remember, I don’t recall having it with pork. It is not the end of the world to try something different, it is only a dish. Since we have more bitter melons than there are ways to cook them, I am free to cook bitter melons any way I want. But of course I love cooking Cantonese food, to me that’s comforting.

Bitter Melon Pork pic17

Bitter Melon Pork pic13

Talk about big and bold, these bitter melons are gorgeous, each weighs a whopping 12 oz to 1 pound, very impressive. We want to continue growing the garden next year, so we let a few get really ripe and save the seeds. A gardener’s work never ends. From start to finish, planting, picking, chopping, cooking and eating, we enjoy every bit of it. There is no better way to appreciate food than making garden to table dishes. The homemade taste of fresh vegetables is second to none, the food is amazing. Even Lynard gets motivated in the kitchen and cooks up a storm. Bravo!

Beautiful 1 Pound Ripe Bitter Melon for Seeds
Beautiful 1 Pound Ripe Bitter Melon for Seeds
Bitter Melon Pork pic22
You get a big meal out of 2 bitter melons.

 

Cantonese Style Bitter Melon Minced Pork – 碎肉涼瓜飯

Bitter Melon Pork pic24
Chinese people love to use fermented black beans in their cooking, 1 tablespoon goes a long way.

Cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, scoop out all the seeds. Cut in half again in length, slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water, toss, toss. Heat up a wok, add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, wait until hot. Add onion and garlic, 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, quickly saute for 1 minute or less. Add ginger and bitter melons, also add a little bit of salt, keep cooking and stirring. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, keep cooking until translucent, about 50% done. Dish up and put aside.

Bitter Melon Pork pic4

Season ground pork with a little bit of salt, black pepper, garlic salt, mix well. Add 1/2 tablespoon sherry wine, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon fermented black beans, mix well. Add 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil at the end, mix well. Don’t use too much salt. (You can use turkey or chicken instead of pork.)

In a clean wok on medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil, wait until hot. Add the meat and cook until light brown, no longer pink. Return bitter melons, stir with meat, cook until hot. Add 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, stir. Add 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, more if you like. Keep cooking, stir as needed, add 2 to 4 tablespoons water. Cover the wok, cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes until tender.

Turn the heat to medium high, add cornstarch mixture, half at a time, stir to coat. Cook until sauce boiling again, stir until sauce thicken and creamy. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame oil, mix well. Serve with steamed rice for a true Chinese meal. It is one of our favorite dishes in the summer.

Leslie loves Cantonese food – 碎肉涼瓜飯.
Lynard likes to cook bitter melon dishes.
Lynard enjoys cooking and eating bitter melons.

 

Print recipe:

Cantonese Style Bitter Melon Minced Pork - 碎肉涼瓜飯

  • Servings: 4 to 5 | Recipe by Leslie at Soups Ahoy
  • Print

Bitter Melon Pork pic19 print

Ingredients and Instructions

2 medium bitter melons, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 pound or less ground pork, 90% lean, about 12 to 16 oz
1 1/2 tablespoons fermented black beans, ( 1 Tbsp for veggie, 1/2 Tbsp for pork )
1 medium onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 small piece ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon regular sugar, more if needed
1 tablespoon regular soy sauce, 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce, more if you like
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mix with 1/3 cup water, set aside
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame oil, final touch to add more flavor

Cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, scoop out all the seeds. Cut in half again lengthwise, slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water, toss, toss. Heat up a wok, add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, wait until hot. Add onion and garlic, 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, quickly saute for 1 minute or less. Add ginger and bitter melons, and a little salt, keep cooking and stirring. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, keep cooking until translucent, about 50% done. Dish up and put aside.

Season ground pork with a little bit of salt, black pepper, garlic salt, mix. Add 1/2 tablespoon sherry wine, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 tablespoon fermented black beans, mix well. Add 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil at the end, mix well. Don’t use too much salt. (You can use turkey or chicken instead of pork.)

In a clean wok on medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil, wait until hot. Add the meat and cook until light brown, no longer pink. Return bitter melons, stir with meat, cook until hot. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, stir well. Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, add 2 tablespoons water. Cover the wok, cook on medium heat for 3 minutes until tender. Add cornstarch water as needed.

Turn the heat to medium high, add cornstarch mixture, half at a time, stir to coat. Cook until sauce boiling again, stir until sauce thicken and creamy. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame oil, mix well. Serve with steamed rice for a true Chinese meal. It is one of our favorite dishes in the summer.


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https://soupsahoy.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/cantonese-style-bitter-melon-minced-pork/

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