Beef With Bitter Melon


There is no mistaking this beef with bitter melon stir-fry for anything other than a delicious dish. This recipe isn’t for everyone, and the name alone is enough to send some folks fleeing for cover! Some people, though (of whom I am one), adore it, and with good reason. The combination of salty black bean sauce, bitter melon, and meat is a mouthwatering one.

Bitter gourd (more generally known as bitter melon) is considered “cooling” by some Chinese people, and eating it during the sweltering summer months is considered a need for those who live in the country. For this reason, many families consume bitter melon on a regular basis.

My beef with bitter melon recipe and technique of preparation can help you decrease the bitterness, even if you don’t enjoy this meal because you’re afraid of the flavor.

According to WebMD, the fruit and seeds of this plant are used to manufacture medication as well! It’s interesting to learn that bitter melon includes a molecule that helps lower blood sugar levels. As far as superfoods go, bitter melon is right up there with acai and goji. It’s up to you!



  • 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of shaoxing wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda


  • 450g beef
  • 6 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 2 medium bitter melons
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons of rinsed and drained black beans
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
  • salt


  1. Begin by combining the marinade ingredients with the meat slices (cornstarch, baking soda, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, and water). After marinating for 20 minutes, cook the meat.
  2. Cut each melon in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon to produce the bitter melon. The bitterness is caused by the white bits, so remove them completely with a scrubbing brush. Slice the melon thinly by cutting it at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Set up an ice bath and wait for it to cool. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon baking soda. After the bitter melon has been blanched for one minute, use a slotted spoon to swiftly transfer it to the cold bath. Drain and set aside.
  4. Make sure the wok is hot before using it. Toss in 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the beef for 45 seconds. Remove the food from the wok and put it on a cutting board.
  5. Wok over medium heat, add another spoonful of oil, and stir frequently. For one minute, heat the garlic and black beans together. Add the bitter melon to the pan and stir-fry for a few seconds to get the wok-hay flavor. You’ll also need sugar, dark and light soy sauces, as well as sesame seed oil, and white pepper. Mix everything up thoroughly.
  6. Stir-frying and seasoning to taste, add the meat and chicken stock (if you desire a thicker sauce). Serve immediately. I like to cover the pan at this stage and allow the food to cook for an additional minute. Not only does tenderizing the bitter melon make this meal more delicious and less bitter, but it also makes it more visually appealing!

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