Cooking with ChiliCult: Green Chile Fried Bitter Melon (Qingjiao Chao Kugua)


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.

You really have to want to enjoy the full aroma of bitter melon and pungent green chile pepper to really appreciate it – or actually, to just find it edible, though.

I learned to like this because I enjoy spicy Hunan foods – and because my wife subtly pushed me towards it with a loving “If you love me, you better love this.”

Qingjiao Chao Kugua – Green Chile-Fried Bitter Melon

A standard Hunan way of preparing bitter melon, not for the faint of taste bud
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese


  • 1 bitter melon
  • 1 handful green chilli low-to-medium pungency
  • salt


  • Half the bitter melon lengthwise, remove the seeds and pulp with a spoon.
  • Cut the de-seeded bitter melon into thin slices (half-moons).
  • Chop 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.)
  • Add salt.
Keyword bitter melon

A little note re. the image of the dish: I used bitter melon which was already getting ripe, hence why it’s yellow rather than green in parts. That is *not* the normal way of using it!

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