Pork and Bittergourd in Black Bean Sauce

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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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions
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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.

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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.

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Turn the heat down to medium, cover and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

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