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Chinese Stuffed Bitter Melon Recipe - Yong Fu Gwa

Updated on August 1, 2012
Chinese Stuffed Bitter Melon
Chinese Stuffed Bitter Melon | Source

If you grew up eating the bitter melon, you will love this bitter dish. Stuffed bitter melon is common home-cooked dish in many Chinese household. It's made of bitter melon and ground pork. The stuffed bitter melon then browned and served with fermented black beans sauce. This is a saucy, bitter, salty and savory dish with pungent taste of Chinese black beans. You will love it or hate it and nothing in between since there will be bitter flavor in every bite of it.

This recipe calls for ground pork but any ground meat can be used. It's important to blanch the bitter melon to reduce the bitterness of bitter melon and always use strong flavors of sauce or spices to counterbalance the bitter flavors.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 45 min
Yields: 4 -6 servings


  • 2 medium bitter melon
  • 1/2 lbs ground pork
  • 10 dried shrimp
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1tps fermented salted black beans
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper


  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Thickening agent:

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water


How to Fix

  1. Cut the bitter melon into 2-inches cross sections. Remove and discard the seeds, pulp, and pods.
  2. Place the bitter melon in a quart of boiling water. Add baking soda and boil for 2 minutes. Rinse under cold running water. Cover with water for 30 minutes and drain.
  3. Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and chop.
  4. In a bowl, combine ground pork , shrimp, chopped spring onions, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, salt and ground pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Stuff the ground pork mixture into bitter melon rings.
  6. In small bowl, combine Chinese rice wine, 2 teaspoon soy sauce, salt, sugar and chicken stock. Set aside.
  7. Heat a wok over high heat. Add cooking oil and add the stuffed bitter melon. Brown both ends.
  8. Add minced garlic and fermented salted black beans. Stir-fry for 15 seconds.
  9. Add the soy sauce-stock mixture. Bring it to a boil then lower the heat to simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  10. Transfer the stuffed bitter melon to a serving dish.
  11. Add the cornstarch mixture to the gravy. Continue to simmer 15 seconds or until the gravy is thick. Pour the gravy over the stuffed bitter melon.


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    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 5 years ago from USA

      @wiseworld: Thanks. Bitter melon is amazing.

    • wiserworld profile image

      wiserworld 5 years ago

      Wow that looks amazing!