Bitter Melon Stir-fry
Even with degorging, bitter melon has an acrid, almost chalky taste. Feel free to substitute another gourd such as angled luffa.
2 bitter melons
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
½ teaspoon brown sugar
Wash the bitter melons, cut in half, and remove the seeds inside the pods. Slice thinly on the diagonal.
To degorge the bitter melons, place the slices in a bowl and toss with salt. Leave for 15 minutes and place on paper towels to drain out excess water.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the bitter melons for 3 minutes. Drain well.
Add oil to a preheated wok or skillet. Add the garlic and stir-fry briefly until aromatic. Add the bitter melon and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce, water, rice wine, and brown sugar. Mix through and serve hot.
A Remarkable Melon
Bitter melon is one of those foods that people either love or hate. Native to China, it works best with pungent ingredients such as chilies and black bean sauce that can hold their own against its strong flavor. To reduce the bitterness, try degorging or steaming.