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Bitter Melon and Black Bean Sauce Beef

Rated as 4.8 out of 5 Stars

"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."
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1 h 35 m servings 141
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Per Serving: 141 calories; 8.6 7.6 8.3 22 340 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 4
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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 ...

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 us...

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 ...

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 is uncommon, and that's probably why t...