Stir Fried Bitter Melon with Beef and Black Bean Sauce
A traditional stir-fried Chinese bitter melon recipe made with beef and a homemade black bean sauce made from scratch.
Servings: 2 Servings
- 1 bitter melon
- 200 g beef (flank, skirt, or any type of steak, cut into thin slices)
Homemade Black Bean Sauce
Corn Starch Slurry (Thickener)
Wash the bitter melon, and on a cutting board - cut it length wise down the middle
Scrape the seeds out with a spoon
Thinly slice the melon (¼ inch thick) and set it aside in a bowl
Mix the corn starch and water (the water must be cold) and set aside for the very end. We will use the corn starch slurry to thicken the sauce.
Preparing the Homemade Black Bean Sauce
In a bowl, gently rinse the fermented black beans for a few seconds to soften it a bit more and to rinse out some of the salt.
On a cutting board, smush the beans up with the back of a spoon (or finely chop it with a knife) and add it back to the bowl.
Finely chop the garlic and add it to the bowl
Combine the rest of the 'Homemade Black Bean Sauce' ingredients into the bowl and mix and set aside
Boiling the Bitter Melon (Optional)
Fill a pot up with water and set it on the stove and wait for it to boil.
Once the water is boiling, add the bitter melon in and cook it for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Drain and run the bitter melon under cold water in a strainer or throw it in a ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Once the bitter melon is cool, set it in a strainer/colander and set it aside.
Stir Frying Everything Together
In a frying pan, add a bit of oil and set it to medium to medium high heat
Once the pan and oil is hot, add in the beef and quickly stir fry it until it is just cooked (approximately 3-4 minutes)
Add in the fermented black bean sauce and cook it for 1-2 minutes
Stir the corn starch slurry (the corn starch will settle to the bottom), and once it is well mixed, add it into the sauce keep stirring until the sauce is thick - the sauce should be a dark brown color that looks glossy and thick. (Don't worry if the sauce looks very thick, it will stick to the bitter melon better this way)
Add in the bitter melon and cook it for 1-2 minutes. If you didn't boil it, cook it for 1-2 minutes more.
Enjoy with a side of rice! :)
- To retain more nutrients from the bitter melon, you can skip pre-boiling the bitter melon and directly cook it in the frying pan with the sauce. The bitter melon will be more bitter and have a bit more raw veggie crunch.
- This recipe makes enough for 2 people but can easily doubled with no issues
Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 2353mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g