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My friend Angela gave some of stuffed bitter melon and it was very tasty. Now bitter melon is still in season so I decide to try making this dish. The secret is the meat stuffing– it’s not ordinary ground pork, I added dried shrimp and cooked glutinous rice to the ground pork, which adds more flavor and texture. If you dare to eat bitter melon, try this recipe.

Stuffed Bitter Melon 苦瓜镶肉

Stuffed Bitter Melon 苦瓜镶肉

Stuffed Bitter Melon Recipe (makes 15-20 pieces)

Ingredients:
3 small/slimmer bitter melon (about size of 2 inches wide, 9 inches long)

stuffing:
1/2 lb ground pork

seasoning for ground pork:
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp tapioca starch
2-3 tbsp water

2 tbsp dried shrimps– soaked with 2 tbsp of water for 5 minutes, then finely chopped
2 tbsp cooked glutinous rice– add some water to loose up the rice, then rinse out water– see note below
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped

more tapioca starch for coating the inside of melon ring

Seasoning for the sause:
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1/2 tbsp sugar
water (enough to cover half the height of the melon rings)

Method:

  1. Wash bitter melons and remove both tips. Cut into 1 inch size rings. Remove the core. Put the melon rings in a big bowl and sprinkle about 1 tbsp of salt. Toss to coat well (this is to draw out the bitter juice so it will be less bitter). Set aside for 15 minutes. Rinse 2-3 times. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Prepare stuffing: season ground pork with ground pork seasoning. Then add in dried shrimps, glutinous rice, ginger and garlic. Stir in a circular motion several times until the mixture blend well and looks sticky.
  3. Coat inner rings with tapioca starch, then stuff ground pork into the ring with a butter knife, smooth the surface (do not over stuff as the stuffing will expand during cooking).
  4. Heat up a frying pan with a 2 tbsp oil. Fry melon rings on high heat, meat side down, until both side are browned. Be sure to place the rings in a single layer, fry in batches if necessary.
  5. Add enough water to cover half the height of the rings, and all other sauce seasoning. Bring to a boil, then continue cooking on medium high heat, until the stuffing is cooked through and melon softens (turning over once or twice during cooking). At this point the sauce should be reduced and thickened.
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