The bitter melon is one of my new favorite fruits, and I never thought I’d say it. At first, I didn’t understand why my parents would consume something with the word “bitter” in its name, so I avoided it like the plague as a kid.
Because of this, I have developed a taste for bitter melons because of the contrast they create with rich items like scrambled eggs (in this example), sliced beef (in this case), and umami-packed black beans.
In the summer, my boyfriend and I look forward to my mother’s garden bitter melon and the glut of bitter melons in Chinese marketplaces.
It’s a little more work to make the beef with bitter melon, but this dish is a breeze. Just scrambled eggs in a new twist.
- 2 bitter melons
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. of salt (divided)
- 1/8 tsp. of white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. of sesame oil
- 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil (divided)
- 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp. of light soy sauce
- 1 tsp. of oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce if making this vegetarian)
- 1/2 tsp. of sugar
1.Cut each of your bitter melons in half lengthwise, starting with the shorter end. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. In order to avoid the melon’s bitter white pith, remove it from the inside.
2.The hollowed-out side should be facing the cutting surface; next, cut the melon into thin diagonal slices.
3.Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water in your wok (or a medium to large saucepan). Bring to a rolling boil. Drain after 30 seconds of boiling the bitter melon. Set aside.
4. Salt, pepper, and sesame oil are mixed into the eggs in a medium bowl.
5. Make sure that your wok is dry and just beginning to smoke before you start cooking your food in it. Add the beaten eggs immediately after the 2 tablespoons of oil. The eggs should be scrambled quickly to avoid getting overcooked and brown. Remove the eggs from the pan when 70% done and set them aside in a basin.
6. Add the bitter melon and another tablespoon of oil to the wok. Pour in the Shaoxing wine and stir for 15-30 seconds, then remove from heat and serve with steamed rice. Take a 15-second break from the stir-fry to add the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, and sugar.
7. Re-add the eggs to the wok and cook for an additional 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly. Serve right away, after you’ve removed the wok from the heat.