beef and bitter melon stirfry

beef & bitter melon stirfry

I thought I became officially old 3 years ago. Well, my signs of ageing have just reached new botox-necessitating heights. I am not only eating but cooking and posting a recipe containing bitter melon. My young self would've just gagged and called my now aged self a traitor for going anywhere near this green reptilian-looking gourd. Mr B and I were smacking our lips last night over this dish. What is going on?


300 g sirloin or eye fillet steak, fat trimmed and cut against the grain into .5 cm slices or thinner if you like

1.5 c sliced bitter melon, discard seeds and scrape out white flesh inside when preparing, slice thinly at a 45-degree angle

2 t chopped garlic

¼ c chicken stock

1 T salt

vegetable oil for frying

beef marinade:

1 t oyster sauce

1 t shaoxing wine

1 t sugar

2 t light soy sauce

1.5 t cornstarch





2 t dark soy sauce

2 T light soy sauce

1 t sesame oil

1/8 t white pepper

3 T xaoxing wine

3 T oyster sauce

2 t sugar

1 T cornflour dissolved in 3 T water


Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl whisk till sugar and cornstarch have dissolved. Add beef and toss well. Marinate for at least 20 mins.

Boil a medium-sized pot of water and add 1 T salt. Blanche bitter melon for 45 seconds then drain immediately.

Place all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Add 1 T of vegetable oil in a wok and heat until smoking. Add half of the beef and stirring quickly for 45 seconds making sure all sides are browned. Remove immediately from the wok and transfer to a bowl. Repeat the same for the rest of the beef.

Reduce heat to medium high so the garlic doesn't burn. Give the wok time to cool down a bit, about 1 minute. Add 1 T vegetable oil then add garlic. Fry till fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add bitter melon and keep stirring for 10 seconds. Add sauce and stock and stir until the sauce bubbles, about 5 seconds. Add beef and mix everything well. Cook for a further minute. Add some of the cornflour and water mixture and thicken sauce to your liking. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 part of a banquet.

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