Steamed stuffed bitter melon

Yield: 2 servings

Measure Ingredient
½ pounds Pork, ground [I minced it with cleavers. S.C.]
4 Fresh water chestnuts, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon Minced fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons Minced scallion
1½ tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons Peanut oil
2 teaspoons Minced garlic
1½ tablespoon Fermented black beans
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
¾ cup Chicken broth
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Thin soy sauce
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
2 larges Bitter melons, about 3/4 to 1 lb.
½ teaspoon Cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon cold chicken broth
1 tablespoon Sesame oil
From Ken Hom's book, Chinese Technique.



Combine the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl. Mix them thoroughly. The hands are the best tool for this job.

Cut the bitter melon into 1-inch slices; discard the end pieces. With a paring knife, trim out the insides. Lift them out. Stuff the cavity of each slice with a generous spoonful of stuffing.

Arrange the stuffed pieces of vegetable on a plate and set the plate on a trivet in a wok over enough hot water to come within 1 inch of the plate. Cover the wok and steam the food for 20 minutes. Remove the platter and trivet.

In a separate wok or pan, prepare the sauce. First heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Add the garlic and fermented black beans, stir for a minute, then add the Shaoxing wine, chicken stock and salt. Add the liquid that results from the steaming of the melon. Bring the mixture to a boil. Thicken with the dissolved cornstarch and flavor with sesame oil.

Pour the sauce over the bitter melons and serve.

Serves 2 as a main course.

NOTE: Hom makes no mention of blanching although another bitter melon recipe in another book *does* say that it will cut the bitterness.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg; February 25 1991.

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