Pork-Stuffed Bitter Melon
INGREDIENTS
  • Cooking Time: 15-20
  • Servings: 4
  • Preparation Time: 10-20
  • 1 lb ground pork (or any meat/meat substitute)
  • 2 bitter melons
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk scallion/green onion, halved lengthwise and minced
  • 2-3 tsp black or white pepper
  • 1 egg (or just the egg white) - optional if using a fatty meat, probably necessary if using a lean meat or meat substitute
  • salt
DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix ground pork, soy sauce, garlic, scallions, pepper, and egg (if using) in a large bowl until combined. Set aside to let the flavors marinate.
  2. Cut the bitter melons into rings. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds and set somewhere to cool. After they're cool enough to handle, scoop out the spongey inside with a spoon. (I usually save the insides for soup later while discarding the seeds, but you can discard it all if you prefer.) Rub the bitter melon rings with salt.
  3. Place the bitter melon rings on a plate and stuff the meat filling into the rings with the plate as the flat bottom. The top can be little domes of meat; it doesn't need to be flat.
  4. Steam for 15-20 minutes or so, until the meat is cooked and the bitter melon is soft/your desired texture. Drizzle with soy sauce, if desired, and serve with steamed short-grain rice.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
This Hakka recipe from my mom is one of my favorites, but can be an acquired taste with the bitter melon. All the measurements are approximations based on my memory and can be adjusted to taste. The photo shows the portion size using one small bitter melon. Submitted by: "Rebecca Lee"