Bitter gourd. Many people cringe at that name, and I did too, until coming to this country. My grandmother likes bitter gourd, but nobody at home enjoys it, so she hardly gets to eat it. I'm sure she'll appreciate it the next time I go back that there will be someone to share in this bitter gourd awesomeness.
Yes, as the name implies, bitter gourd is indeed bitter. However, it is not intolerably bitter, and it is the sort of bitterness that accentuates other flavors. I usually add in a little bit of sugar when I deal with bitter gourd, not because it helps it to not be bitter, but this tiny bit of sugary sweetness gets brought out by the bitter gourd and helps balance the flavors in the dish.
This is my favorite bitter gourd recipe and I hope to share it with my grandmother as soon as I can!
- 1 bitter gourd, remove seeds and slice into half moons
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimp
- 1/2 pound pork, cubed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons black bean chili
- 1 teaspoon water
- Heat the oil in a pan, and fry minced garlic and dried shrimp until fragrant.
- Add the pork to the pan, and fry until half cooked.
- Add sliced bitter gourd, oyster sauce and water to the pan. Fry until bitter gourd is cooked.
- Turn off the heat and add black bean chili.
- Fry until evenly incorporated.