Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lightly Braised Bitter Gourd With Salted Black Beans

This is our family favourite dish and I will cook this very often . My Piggies love bitter gourd or bitter melon which is a surprising thing for bitter gourd may not be a youngster's cup of tea so to say as it has a slightly bitterish aftertaste. They started to like eating this only after they entered their teens. Bitter gourd has a lot of nutrients and bitter gourd is often used in Chinese cooking for its bitter flavor, typically in stir-fries , soup and also as tea.  My mom used to boil them as tea for me when I was a teenager, 16 to be is believe to purify our blood as at that time pimples were blooming all over my face :(  but thanks to all those bitter gourd tea I drank during my teens that today I have a smoother complexion :p  Seriously and today my Piggies were given the same treatment when they had pimples on their face.  They love bitter gourd in stir fries but not as a tea.....but wanting to have a smoother complexion overcomes everything :)
Bitter gourd is a very versatile veggie...and there are two types  - the normal one which long and oblong in shape, slightly lighter in color and the other one is the small and narrower shape with pointed ends and a surface covered with jaggedm triangular " teeth " and ridges You can cook them in stir-fries, in egg soup , braise them with pork ribs or chicken or beef or in fried noodles or vermicelli . My favourite way to cook bitter gourd is to lightly braise them with salted black beans which I am going to share with you here.   I will order this dish from the restaurants when I am too lazy to cook.

Simple and yet delicious with just lightly braised the bitter gourd with diced chicken breasts,salted black beans , fermented soy beans and cut chillies.....these combination of ingredients brings out the delicate flavor of this dish. Every mouthful bursts with the beautiful flavor of salted black beans which is the magic ingredient in this dish and the subtle bitterish aftertaste from the bitter gourd :)  A beautiful  flavor  in such a simple dish !

I am glad that my Piggies love this dish

Lightly Braised Bitter Gourd With Salted Black Beans


1 large bitter gourd  -  cut into thick slices of 1.5 inch length
1cup diced  chicken breast - seasoned with 1/2 tsp cornflour and 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
3/4 tbsp of fermented soy beans
2  tsp of salted black beans - washed
2 bird's eye chillies - cut into slices
5 pips of garlic - crushed and chopped fine

2 tbsp of grapeseed oil
3/4 cup water

method :

Heat up oil in a wok , saute ingredients (A) till fragrant, add in the seasoned diced chicken breasts and bitter gourd. Lightly stir-fry for 5 minutes, add in the water and slowly braise it for another 10 minutes under medium heat till the bitter gourd is cooked and the gravy has thicken and reduced to just coating the bittergourd . Dish up and serve with a bowl of  piping hot rice.

Enjoy and have a great Sunday :)

*    After posting up this post, we will be on our way to KL to meet up with
Joshua .....I miss my baby :))

*         *         *


  1. I used to hate this bitter melon when I was young but as I get older I learn to like it. Our taste bud change as we grown older. My mom usually cook this with black beans and chicken.

  2. I wish i knew about bittergourd and pimples. It would have saved me all those blooming pimples! LOL
    lovely dish like always Elin. WIsh I lived nearer you. :)

  3. Ohhh... this dish looks nice, Elin... but I can't take bitter-gourd... cuz I got low blood pressure. LOL1

  4. This is my favorite and I am going to cook bitter gourd again.

  5. Thanks for introducing me to bitter gourd. I'm interested to learn more about its health benefits. Thanks for sharing. Your recipe sounds delicious.

  6. I can see why this is a dish you cook often, looks delicious. I don't know much about bitter gourd, so it' great reading all of the benefits you highlighted. I need to find one so I can make your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  7. YUM! I love bitter gourd (though totally an acquired taste...used to hate it as a child), but I've never tried it with chicken...either fried, or even steamed and stuffed with minced meat. Your version of it looks totally delicious, have to try this sometime!

  8. too but after all those bitter gourd tea mom cooked for me , I learn to love it :) this is our mom's style of cooking passed on to us I guess :)

    Zurin....thanks , me too ,wish you live next door so that I get to eat all those delectable food you cook :)

    Cleffairy...dear , you have low blood pressure ? you must take care and eat more iron rich stuff.

    Anncoo...I am going cook again but different style :)

    Anna..thanks and you are welcome :)

    Spicie Foodie...I think you can get them at the asian store :) hope you like this :)

    Arva...thanks for dropping by and I hope you will like it :)


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