A classic Chinese dish that can be made with chicken instead of beef. If chicken is used, cooking time will be more depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces.

Gallery

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
15 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 35 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Fill a bowl with ice; add enough salted water to make an ice bath. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the bitter melon in the boiling water until tender yet firm, about 2 minutes; strain the melon. Place the melon into the ice bath; allow to sit until bitterness is extracted, about 1 hour. Drain melon.

    Advertisement
  • Whisk 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and baking soda together in a bowl. Add beef and toss to evenly coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  • Heat wok, or a large skillet, on high until smoking. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Lay beef evenly across the bottom of the wok; cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove beef. Pour in 1 teaspoon of oil; allow to heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in bitter melon; cook until combined, about 1 minute.

  • Stir black bean sauce into melon mixture. Stir in remaining soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar. Pour in 3/4 cup water; cover and let simmer until flavors combine, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and mix in remaining cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water and stir until thickened.

Nutrition Facts

141 calories; protein 8.3g; carbohydrates 7.6g; fat 8.6g; cholesterol 22.5mg; sodium 340.2mg. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (4)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/08/2017
Bitter melon is bitter so following the prep instructions are important to help reduce the bitterness. I heard bitter melon is good for diabetics which is why I tried this recipe. It was easy and quite delicious. I didn't have any beef but used some boneless pork sirloin chops. I followed the same marinade instructions including the baking soda which helps tenderize the meat and the recipe turned out perfect. Read More
(3)
5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
03/24/2017
To combat bitterness I add about 2 teaspoons sugar to the blanching water too. Then also add more sugar to the corn starch slurry , try perhaps 1/2 teaspoon. As for the use of baking soda, I use about a heaping teaspoon in 3 cups water and marinate the sliced beef for 15 min. Then rinse the beef thoroughly under running water with a strainer. Now use this tenderized beef in the recipe. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2017
Bitter melon is bitter so following the prep instructions are important to help reduce the bitterness. I heard bitter melon is good for diabetics which is why I tried this recipe. It was easy and quite delicious. I didn't have any beef but used some boneless pork sirloin chops. I followed the same marinade instructions including the baking soda which helps tenderize the meat and the recipe turned out perfect. Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
02/24/2017
Overall, this recipe is very delicious! I’m hoping the author of recipe can add a review (give the recipe 5 stars) to explain how much salt to add for water bath method and what the baking soda is for. My husband actually liked the bitter melon prepared this way with the black bean sauce (only his 2nd time trying it; I grew up with it and have acquired taste for it). For those who don’t know, bitter melon (or gourd) is bitter! Do not skip step one because the salt is going to reduce the level of bitterness, but step 1 was not very clear for me—I have no idea how to make salted water for an ice bath—how much salt to water? :( There are a few methods to reduce bitterness. Simply, parboiling does not reduce the bitter enough for us. I halved the bitter melon, remove seeds, slice, and place slices in colander (over a bowl). Added 1-2 tsp kosher salt over the slices and combined with hands, set aside for 1 hour. You need to use Kosher or Sea Salt…NOT table salt. Rinse and drain off excess water. Prepare your ice water bath. Blanch the bitter melon slices in lightly salted water for 1 minute and place in ice water bath to stop further cooking. Continue with recipe. I also omitted the baking soda because I couldn’t figure out the need for it, but I suspect it further reduces bitterness. I had 2 melons, hence doubled the recipe. I felt the amount of water was a little too much, but hey…more sauce is always good! I loved this recipe and will be making it again! Read More
(2)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
12/11/2018
I would give this recipe a 4.5 if I could. I'm asian and a huge snob when it comes to cooking with bitter melon. A recipe like this found on allrecipes.com is uncommon and that's probably why there's only 3 reviews. I decided to try it anyway. It's very similar to how the generations in my family cooks with bitter melon and black bean sauce. However it's a really good recipe and I've used it a few times. You must be fond of bitter melon to want to make this. I loved it!! Thanks for sharing:) Read More
Advertisement