Cooking with ChiliCult: Green Chile Bitter Melon (Qingjiao Chao Kugua)
Where the ‘beginner’s recipe’ of Fried Egg and Bitter Melon makes it easy on the eater of bitter melon not yet used to it, this dish is for those who have already learnt to like it hot and bitter.
Once you like it, this is a fantastic dish that is healthful and flavorful, but you really have to want to enjoy the full aroma of bitter melon and pungent green chile pepper:
Recipe for Green Chile Bitter Melon (Qingjiao Chao Kugua)
(for 2 persons, as one of 2-3 dishes; I wouldn’t recommend bitter melon as a sole dish)
1 bitter melon of ~25 cm (10 inches) length
1 handful green chilli of middling pungency
Oil for the pan; salt.
Half the bitter melon, remove the seeds and pulp with a spoon.
Cut the de-seeded bitter melon into thin slices.
Slice the chile pepper. (De-seed it and remove the placenta if you want to get the dish less spicy. That also helps not to burn the seeds, if you use a hot gas flame, but it’s not usually done in China.)
Stir-fry the bitter melon slices in a bit of hot oil (just to get them done and maybe a bit softer, though they won’t be really soft, nor get browned).
Add the chilli and fry it for a few minutes together with the bitter melon slices. The chilli, also and especially, shouldn’t get burned, so don’t fry it for too long or too hot – the aroma is intense, anyways.