Growing up, my mom would make pork stuffed bitter melon every so often. It wasn’t my favorite when I was younger, but soon grew to love it as an adult. I wanted to try something different and came across a photo of the pork stuffed bittermelon braised in a sauce. It looked delicious, so I wanted to make my own version of it. It was my first time cooking with bittermelon. I like my bittermelon more on the tender side, so boiling it first really helped. My mom advised me that boiling it also helps slightly reduce the bitterness.

 If you prefer it more firm, you can skip the boiling process. You can also add soaked,drained, and chopped wood ear mushrooms. I was too lazy to soak them, so I omitted it.

Feel free to replace or add some of your own ingredients from your favorite stuffed veggie dishes! My family enjoyed this recipe, so hopefully you will too! Feel free to share with me your own versions of this dish if you made any alterations! 

 

Pork Stuffed Bitter Melon in Caramelized Sauce

Serving size: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 bitter melons (hollowed and cut ends off)
  • 2 tsp Cooking oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster Sauce
  • ½ tsp grated ginger
  • Spring onions
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper

 

Filling:

  • 1.5 or 2 lbs of Ground Pork
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • Soaked mung bean noodles (slightly cut to shorten the length)
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp chicken powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

 

Preparation:

  • Cut bittermelons into thirds (Optional: rub it in salt and let it sit for an hour before rinsing to reduce bitterness)
  • Mix all the ingredients for the pork filling
  • Stuff melon: get the meat tightly packed in with a small spoon. You can cover the other end with the palm of you hand to keep the filling from spilling out on the other side.
  • Optional: Bring a big pot of water to a boil and carefully place each stuffed melon into the pot. Reduce heat to medium and cover the pot. Let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes
  • Take the stuffed melon out and let it cool. Once it’s done cooling, slice each melon into 1 ½ inch pieces and set aside to saute later.

 

Directions

  • With an oiled pan on medium high heat, lightly stirfry garlic and ginger until slightly golden and fragrant.
  • Place bittermelon into the pan and brown each side (about 1-2 minutes each side). Take out of pan and set aside.
  • Mix in soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and simmer for a few minutes until sauce slightly thickens. If it’s too thick, add a tsp of water 
  • Reduce heat to low and mix in the spring onions. Gently mix the stuffed melons into the sauce for a minute and turn off heat and garnish with black pepper and a few final sprinkles of soy sauce on top. This can be eaten with rice or on its own. 

 

Enjoy!