Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bitter Melon with Shrimp and Black Beans Stir Fry

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), is well known for its sugar lowering properties. Bitter melon is also found in food supplement form and as teas.

Shrimp is low in carbohydrates and therefore suitable for those watching the carbs in their diet.

This dish is usually eaten together with rice. Bitter melon, as the name implies, is slightly bitter and it is an acquired taste. However, there is a variety of bitter melon that is not as bitter as other varieties.

Choose the bitter melon that has the grooves running along the length of the gourd, that are farther apart from each other. Adding salt to the sliced bitter melons takes away a little of the bitterness.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes

  • 1 medium-sized bitter melon
  • 20 medium-sized shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
  • 1 tablespoon salted black beans (fermented soy beans, available in Asian stores)


To prepare the bitter melon, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and cut on the diagonal into thin slices.

Heat wok over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic (about 30 seconds).

Add shrimp and stir-fry till almost cooked (about 2 minutes)

Add the bitter melon. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add in salted black beans. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the bitter melon is browning and beginning to soften. Serve hot.


Beachlover said...

I once try bitter melon when I was teens but until now never eat it,afraid of bitterness!!hahaha!!look goos,I don't mind the shrimp with black beans:))

Puteri said...

Ya, bitter melon is an acquired taste. I'm surprised that you can eat petai but not peria! I used to hate bitter melon but now since I know it is good for my blood sugar, I have learned to enjoy it.

Bentoist said...

I love this dish. Saw some bitter melon in the farmer's market this morning but didn't have enough faith in my cooking abilities to deliver the quality I remembered. When sliced thin, the bitterness of the melon balances the saltiness of the beans nicely. Thanks for the post. It brings back fond memories for me.

Puteri said...

Maybe next time you see the bitter gourd at the farmers market, you'd be willing to give it a try, eh. I learned to cook this particular dish from a friend who is cantonese. I did not like bitter gourd back then, but cooking it with black beans really removes much of the bitterness.

Lilandra said...

here was i thinking i couldn't make this cuz we don't have anything called bitter melon here

and i look at your photo
we call it carailli or something like that in trinidad and tobago

we could make it

but highly unlikely i'd eat it...i *might* try it since there is shrimp

Maya said...

We always ate bittermelon growing up. I usually make mine vegetarian. But I do like the addition of black beans and prawns.