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Bittermelon with Black Bean Sauce

A bittermelon and ground pork stir-fry with a sweet and savory black bean sauce.

Course Entree
Cuisine Chinese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Fish, Pork
Diet Dairy-Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 1 small bitter melon
  • 225 grams ground pork
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 handful dried baby sardines
  • 2 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


  1. Cut the ends off the bitter melon then slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds and pith then slice them into 1/8" crescents.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the bitter melon for 30 seconds and then drain. This rids the melons of some bitterness. 

  3. Heat a frying pan then add the pork. If there's a reasonable amount of fat in it, you shouldn't have to add oil. Break up the meat and fry until some of the fat has rendered out then add the garlic and dried anchovies. Continue frying until the meat is completely cooked and the garlic is fragrant.

  4. In a small bowl combine the black bean sauce, mirin, miso, and sugar.

  5. Add the bitter melon to the pan and stir-fry until the melon is translucent and almost tender. Finish by adding the sauce and stir-frying until the pork and melon are well coated and the sauce has caramelized.