RECIPE
16 INGREDIENTS17 STEPS25MIN

Bitter Melon with Black Bean Sauce

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Pups with Chopsticks
Hi, I'm Joyce, the creator of Pups with Chopsticks food blog exploring international flavours & ingredients - bringing you delicious and fun classic and fusion recipes!
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A traditional stir-fried Chinese bitter melon recipe made with beef and a homemade black bean sauce made from scratch. The black bean sauce compliments the beef very well and the sauce masks some of the bitter flavor from the melon as well which is great because bitter melon itself doesn’t really have much of a flavor except bitter and ‘green’.

25MIN

Total Cooking Time

16

Ingredients
Pups with Chopsticks
Hi, I'm Joyce, the creator of Pups with Chopsticks food blog exploring international flavours & ingredients - bringing you delicious and fun classic and fusion recipes!
GO TO BLOG
Ingredients
US / METRIC
Servings:
2
Serves 2
1
Medium Bitter Melon
7 oz
Flank Steak , thinly sliced
skirt, or any type of steak
Beef Marinade
1/2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
Cold Water
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp
(optional)
Homemade Black Bean Sauce
3 Tbsp
Fermented Black Beans
1 Tbsp
Cooking Wine
1 Tbsp
Oyster Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp
2 cloves
1 tsp
Sesame Oil
1/4 cup
Water
3 Tbsp
Water
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Author's Notes

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 be doubled with no issues.

Directions

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Step 1
Cut the Bitter Melon (1) in half, scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Thinly slice the melon 1/4-inch thick and set it aside in a bowl.
Step 2
Thinly slice the Flank Steak (7 oz) and add it to a bowl.
Step 3
Combine the Soy Sauce (1/2 Tbsp) , Water (1 Tbsp) , Granulated Sugar (1/2 tsp) and Dark Soy Sauce (1/2 tsp) into bowl with the beef and mix it together. Set it aside for later.
Step 4
In a bowl, gently rinse the Fermented Black Beans (3 Tbsp) for a few seconds to soften it a bit more and to rinse out some of the salt.
Step 5
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.
Step 6
Finely chop the Garlic (2 cloves) and add it to the bowl.
Step 7
Combine the Cooking Wine (1 Tbsp) , Oyster Sauce (1 Tbsp) , Granulated Sugar (1 1/2 Tbsp) , Soy Sauce (2 Tbsp) , Sesame Oil (1 tsp) , Water (1/4 cup) and mix and set aside.
Step 8
In a separate bowl, mix the Corn Starch (2 Tbsp) and Water (3 Tbsp) and set aside for the very end. We will use the corn starch slurry to thicken the sauce.
Step 9
Fill a pot up with water and set it on the stove and wait for it to boil.
Step 10
Once the water is boiling, add the bitter melon in and cook it for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Step 11
Drain and run the bitter melon under cold water in a strainer or throw it in a ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Step 12
Once the bitter melon is cool, set it in a strainer/colander and set it aside.
Step 13
In a frying pan, add a bit of oil and set it to medium to medium-high heat. Add in the beef and quickly stir fry it until it is just cooked, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Step 14
Add in the fermented black bean sauce and cook it for 1-2 minutes.
Step 15
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 and no longer translucent – the sauce should be a dark brown color that looks glossy and thick.
Step 16
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.
Step 17
Serve and enjoy with a side of rice!

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