Bittergourd or bitter melon is actually a fruit and is commonly used in parts of Asia. It supposedly has medicinal benefits, helping with heart problems, diabetes, cancer etc. Because it is bitter *duh*, some dislike it, while others love it. I fall into the latter category, and in the entire household, only my grandmother and I eat bittergourd. There are many varieties of bittergourd as is used in many different gastronomic cultures (the Indians, the Thais,) but here, we used the Chinese bittergourd that has a comparatively smoother skin than others.
- 1 bittergourd, cut into 1 inch by 1/3 inch pieces
- 3 red chilies, deseeded and cut into strips
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon fermented black beans
- 4 oz minced pork
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce (if needed)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
In a heated pan, add oil, then fry the whole garlic and black bean sauce until fragrant.
Add the minced pork, and fry until the pork is half cooked.
Add the chilies and bittergourd, then fry until the bittergourd changes to a bright green color and softens (about 2-3 minutes).
Add water and soy sauce (if the black beans are not salty enough), then bring the water to a boil.
Turn the heat down to medium, cover and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.