Turkey Bitter Melon Stir Fry 苦瓜炒火雞

Turkey Bitter Melon pic1

This is my best bitter melon dish, lighter, healthier, but savory, bursting with traditional Cantonese food flavors. Unlike cuisines in other parts of China, Cantonese food is meant to taste like what it is, without adding unnecessary ingredients. Traditional Cantonese cooking uses very few heavy spices. Ginger, garlic and green onion is like the holy trinity, essential in every dish. Soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, wine, vinegar, hoisin sauce, pungent salted shrimp paste, dried salted black beans and other fermented ingredients punch up Cantonese cooking’s mild flavors. Other ingredients like chili sauce, five spice powder, peppercorns, sesame oil and white pepper are used sparingly according to preferences.

Chinese takeout gives Chinese food a bad name. The excess use of sugar, soy sauce and gravy is a nightmare to many home cooks who just need a break from their kitchen. It is
no better than eating McDonald’s fast food. Contrary to what people believe, Chinese cooking does not use a lot of cornstarch gravy. I normally only use 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup of water or low sodium chicken broth. It helps to thicken the sauce and soften the food, a magical finish touch to the dish along with a few drops of sesame oil.
It works every time and that’s how I cook food in my Chinese kitchen.

Turkey Bitter Melon pic3

Turkey Bitter Melon pic4

 

Turkey Bitter Melon Stir Fry 苦瓜炒火雞

Turkey Bitter Melon pic5b

Turkey Bitter Melon pic6

Use 10 to 12 oz ground turkey, season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Add 1/2 tablespoon sherry wine, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 tablespoon fermented black beans, 1 tablespoon chopped onion, mix well. Add 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil at the end, mix well. (Sometimes I use ground pork or beef instead of ground turkey. I use 90% lean meat.)

On medium high heat, stir fry bitter melons with onion, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, season with salt and black pepper. Add 1/3 cup or more chicken broth, cook until translucent, about 50% done, 2 to 3 minutes. Dish up and put aside.
(It is important to cook bitter melon with a little bit of liquid.)

In a clean wok on medium high heat, add oil until hot. Add turkey, cook, stir and turn until no longer pink; break up large pieces. Return bitter melons, mix with turkey, cook until hot. Add soy sauce mixture, mix well. Add oyster sauce, mix well, cook until veggie soft but still crisp. (Don’t cover the wok.) Add cornstarch mixture, quickly stir and coat with food, cook until boiling and sauce thicken. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil, mix well. We like to serve this tasty dish over steamed jasmine rice. It is the best summer food when you have a nice vegetable garden full of bitter melons.

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Print recipe:

Turkey Bitter Melon Stir Fry 苦瓜炒火雞

  • Servings: 3 to 4 | Recipe by Leslie at Soups Ahoy
  • Print

Turkey Bitter Melon pic7 print

Ingredients and Instructions

2 medium bitter melons, about 1 lb, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 medium onions, 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 piece ginger, about 2 tablespoons sliced thin strips
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth, divided, use 1/4 cup for cornstarch
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mix with 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons fermented black beans in small bowl  (1 Tbsp for veggie, 1/2 Tbsp for turkey)
1 tablespoon regular soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sherry wine, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, mixed in small bowl
2 tablespoons oyster sauce in small bowl, 1 teaspoon sesame oil in separate bowl, add to dish last

10 to 12 oz ground turkey, season with salt and black pepper. Add 1/2 tablespoon wine, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 tablespoon fermented black beans, 1 tablespoon chopped onion, mix well. Also add 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, mix well. (Sometimes I use ground pork or beef instead of ground turkey. Use 90% lean meat, better for you.)

On medium high heat, stir fry bitter melons with onion, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, season with salt and black pepper. Add 1/3 cup or more chicken broth, cook until translucent, about 50% done, 2 to 3 minutes. Dish up and put aside. (It is important to cook bitter melon with a little bit of liquid. It helps to speed up the process.)

In a clean wok on medium high heat, add oil until hot. Add turkey, cook, stir and turn until no longer pink; break up large pieces. Return bitter melons, mix with turkey, cook until hot. Add soy sauce mixture, mix well. Add oyster sauce, mix well, cook until veggie soft but still crisp. (Don’t cover the wok.) Add the cornstarch mixture, quickly stir and coat with food, cook until boiling and sauce thicken. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil, mix well. Serve over steamed rice. It is the best summer food, so delicious.


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https://soupsahoy.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/turkey-bitter-melon-stir-fry-苦瓜炒火雞/

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