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Pork Stuffed Bitter Melon

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"This is a classic Chinese dish. Bitter melon is stuffed with a delicious mixture of minced pork, then pan-fried and simmered with a garlic and black bean sauce. Serve with freshly cooked rice."
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1 h 5 m servings 310
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Place shrimp in a bowl and pour in enough water to cover; set aside until shrimp are rehydrated, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water together in a bowl until a smooth paste forms. Mix sugar, soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt into cornstarch paste until marinade is well combined. Stir pork into marinade moving the spoon in one direction.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat; fry shrimp until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp to pork mixture, stirring in 1 direction until it reaches a paste-like consistency.
  4. Sprinkle salt over bitter melon and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil; add bitter melon and cook for 3 minutes. Drain well.
  6. Stuff each bitter melon slice with pork mixture and sprinkle cornstarch evenly over each.
  7. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and fry stuffed bitter melon until brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer bitter melon to a serving plate.
  8. Mix 1/2 cup water, oyster sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar together in a bowl until oyster sauce mixture is smooth.
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in the same skillet over high heat. Cook and stir black bean-garlic sauce, red pepper, and garlic until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add oyster sauce mixture and stir until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add stuffed bitter melons and simmer, 5 to 6 minutes.
  10. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water together in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms; stir into skillet until sauce is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Stuff the bitter melon as much as possible, as the meat will shrink when it's cooked.
  • Add some water when stir-frying the pork. This will give the pork a fluffier texture.
  • Bitter melon, dried shrimp, and black bean and garlic sauce may be purchased in Indian/South Asian specialty stores.
  • Substitute 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce for the 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce, if desired.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 310 calories; 20.8 12.6 17.5 60 890 Full nutrition

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