Steamed Stuffed Bitter Melon

Recipe by Lloyd-Fred

My research indicates that this recipe originated with Chef Ken Hom. It was pubished in his excellent (out of print) book Chinese Technique, which deserves republication. It is one of my favorite things, and I always make it when I can find bitter melons. They are not always easy to find. Try it, you will like it.

Top Review by Barb G.

My DH loves bitter melon. This recipe is the BEST that I have found for stuffed bitter melon. I have made it several times. Couldn't believe that I hadn't reviewed it before. The only thing I did different was to parboil the bitter melon in salt water for a couple of minutes before stuffing. The sauce is delicious, I do use less peanut oil & it still has the same flavor as when I used more. Thank you for posting this recipe I will be using it often.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 cup ground lean pork
  • 4 peeled water chestnuts (or the generous equivalent in canned slices)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallions (white and light green part only)
  • 1 12 tablespoons shaoxing wine
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (potato, water chestnut, sweet rice starch starches may be substituted)
  • 2 medium bitter melon (green in color and 3/4 to 1 pound in weight. For much larger, nearly ripe melons, it will be necessa)
  • For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 12 teaspoons chinese fermented black beans (salted)
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine
  • 34 cup chicken broth
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with
  • 1 tablespoon cold chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil (roasted or dark)


  1. PREP:.
  2. Finely mince the water chestnuts.
  3. Trim the ends off the bitter melons ans slice into 1 inch slices.
  4. Using a small paring knife, carefully cut out the pulp and seeds in the center of each slive, leaving onlu the melon wall.
  5. Rub the inside of each slice with coating of cornstarch.
  6. METHOD:.
  7. the slices:.
  8. Combine all of the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl.
  9. Mix them thoroughly using freshly washed hands.
  10. Rub more starch into the inner surfce of each slice of bitter melon, then stuff the cavity of each slive with a generous spoonful of stuffing, enough to completely fill the cavity.
  11. As the slices are stuffed, arrange them on a plate and set the plate in a steamer with water coming within an inch of the plate Cover and steam for 20 minutes.
  12. Arrange hte coked slices on a serving plats, reserving the juices on the plate for the sauce.
  13. the sauce:.
  14. In a separate wok or pan, heat 2 T.
  15. peanut oil, add the garlic and black beans, then stir fry for a minute or two, then add the Shaoxing wine, chicken stock and salt.
  16. Add the reserved juices from the steaming of the melon slices.
  17. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  18. Thicken with the dissolved cornstarch and flavor eith sesame oil.
  19. Pur sauce over bitter melon and serve with white rice.

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