Monday, November 29, 2010

Bitter Melon and Beef Stir Fry

The following is my mom's recipe which she learned from her Chinese father. Be warned though, Bitter melon is not to everyone's liking.  It is an acquired taste. Its bitterness is what gives this vegetable character. My husband is German/Swedish and he loves this dish!

1/2 lb. strips of Sirloin beef (you can substitute pork)
1 large Bitter melon (cut in half, remove seeds and pith, and slice into 1/2 " thick slices)
1 Medium onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced

Marinate for the beef: 
1 TBSP Soy sauce such as Kikkoman
1/4 salt and a pinch of pepper (preferably white pepper)
Pinch of sugar
1 Tsp. Corn starch

Brown Sauce:
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 cup water
1 heaping TBSP of corn starch
Pinch of salt, pepper and sugar

Blend well and set aside.

Heat a wok or large cast iron skillet over high heat.

Add approximately two tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil to hot wok/skillet.  Stir fry the sliced bitter melon for a couple of minutes and finish up by adding a teaspoon of water to steam the vegetables.

Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add a teaspoon more oil if needed.  Add the garlic and fry until golden brown, then add the onion slices and beef.  Stir fry the beef until nicely brown and cooked thoroughly.  Return the Bitter melon slices to the wok/skillet and add the brown sauce.  Bring to a boil and the sauce is thickened.

Serve immediately over with cooked white rice.