Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bitter Melon & Beef Stir Fry in Oyster Sauce - Age Deliciously

Most of us don't like bitter things (thanks for stating the obvious like it's a surprise *rolling eyes*).
I remember that I used to hate bitter melon.
It's either because I was young or the melon wasn't done well.

It was probably because I was young.
Based on my general observation, there are few things younger people simply do not like...such as bitter stuff, gelatinous, gummy, and tendony stuff. As we become more mature (yuck, I hate the word "mature" as much as "old", I might as well say "as we age"), we grow to appreciate them better.

So far, I haven't started to enjoy gummy, gelatinous food such as beef tendon and sea cucumber (yet), but I have grown to love bitter melon (when it's done well).

Am I officially old?

There is indeed a certain way to handle bitter melon to minimize its bitterness.
Here goes...

Wash them clean, leave the skin on.

Half them. The ripe ones have red seeds and they are more bitter, just like me. I get more bitter as I age :p

The younger ones are more firm, and their seeds are white.

Scoop out the seeds and spongy inner part, discard.

Nice and clean.

I like my bitter melon thinly sliced. Don't they look pretty?

In a colander, sprinkle quite a lot of salt (I poured 2 teaspoon salt all over them), and leave 'em for a while (I left mine for about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, marinate the accompanying meat (I used sliced beef, marinated in dark soy, oyster sauce, sesame oil, shaoxing wine, and 1 tsp corn starch), start cooking your rice and chop the aromatics (I used minced garlic, crushed ginger and chopped chili).

After a while...look at that bitter juice!
Give a glass to your enemy (ohhhh what an evil intention, but you might end up making your enemy healthier)

Quickly caramelise the marinated beef in a hot wok, add a little garlic, cook just until half done, don't flip them too often.

Set aside. Yum. Good enough to eat as is.

Now let's get back to our bitter melon. Saute aromatics in a bit of olive oil.

Add bitter melon, cook until softened.

Add beef.

Mix mix mix.

Adjust seasoning by adding sugar, white pepper, soy sauce, oyster sauce, more shaoxing wine...add a bit of hot water if you want a bit of a sauce.

Taste absolutely fantastical with steamed rice, taste even better the next day.

Plus, it'll improve your digestive system and kinda detox you.
Something yummy that helps with my health? Bring it on. I need all the help we can get as I age.
Age deliciously.


pigpigscorner said...

oo yum! I used to hate bittergourd too now I love it. I've only came across the ones with red seeds, I thought they were diseased or something...haha

Little Corner of Mine said...

Oh yummy! Looks absolutely delicious. I watched the Chinese cooking show and learned this method of getting rid of some of the bitterness. They parboil it lightly in the salt water.

KennyT said...

Whoaaaaaaa, bitter melon! You're a tough girl!!!

Ravenous Couple said...

these look fantastic! kim converted me to eating bitter melon soup. Your method of giving the "bitter" juice away to your enjoy is so sneaky, evil and fun!

tigerfish said...

the bitter gourd juice is supposed to be good stuff...cannot give to enemy lah!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

ppc...i thought the red seeds were pretty hehehe

locm parboiling it eh...that's an idea...i'll try next time ^_^

kenny, not so tough la ;) don't you like bitter melon? many of my friends hate it...

rc, bitter melon soup! wow! do you have a recipe? i wanna try...

Mochachocolata Rita said...

tigerfish..hehehe yeah must be good for health...but bitter mah...

Tuty said...

You've convinced me to give this gourd another try...

Nah... you're sweeter as you get older or at least more mellow, shall we say?

Velops said...

To this day I can't stand bitter melon. I suspect it is because I am very sensitive to bitter flavors (I can taste a slight bitterness in romaine lettuce). On the other hand, I have loved beef tendon ever since I was a kid.

The bitter melon soup RC is talking is probably this:ổ-qua-bitter-melon-soup/

Wild Boar said...

Sadly, I too am starting to like bittergourd more lately *sigh* Its not a good sign.

eliza said...

cantik banget! tapi gue masih gak doyan pare nih :D

Cakelaw said...

This looks delicious. I have never heard of bitter melon until just now, so I have learnt something today.

noobcook said...

omg, this looks fantastic. Just had lunch and I'm drooling again. I like bitter melon too.

Chien said...

I DIGGGGGG bitter gourd! It's an all time favourite. Try frying it omelette style the next time i.e.

* cut into half, remove seeds, slice thinly
* salt it (like what you did)
* fry with mince garlic
* when 80% done, pour in beaten eggs (season with salt & pepper)
* cook till eggs are done
* viola!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

hi chien, thanks for dropping by my blog.
sometimes i saw sous chef's mom cooking bitter melon + eggs too, but i always forgot to ask for the recipe, thanks for sharing, i am gonna try it soon :)

Anonymous said...

random tidbit. I'm from Trinidad and we call it coraille, not certain if this is the spelling since it is our local term but it is pronouced 'koh-rhy-lee'. bleh, don't like it at all.