Bitter melon in garlic and black bean sauce

Bitter melon in garlic and black bean sauce


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About this recipe: The Chinese believe that there are numerous health benefits in consuming bitter melon. Here, bitter melon is stir-fried in a spicy, garlic and black bean sauce. Enjoy with freshly cooked rice.


Serves: 2 

  • 1kg bitter melon, cut into 4.5cm sections
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 50g garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon hot chilli oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • 1 tablespoon fermented salted black beans, rinsed and drained
  • water, as needed
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:20min 

  1. Blanch the bitter melon in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and cool under cold running water. Once cool, remove the seeds and cut into 3cm cubes.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan until hot. Stir-fry the bitter melon until golden.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, hot chilli oil, MSG, black beans and just enough water to cover the bitter melon.
  4. Continue to cook until the pan is almost dry. Add the sesame oil and spring onion, stir-fry for 30 seconds and serve.


Bitter melon, monsodium glutamate, chilli oil and fermented salted black beans can be purchased in Chinese/Oriental speciality shops.

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