Bitter Gourd with Fermented Beans Recipe
1 small bitter gourd (bitter melon)
1/6 lb shredded pork or small shrimps (shelled and de-veined)
1 small pack dried fermented beans
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 red chili pepper, halved and remove seeds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
½ tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons water
Rinse bitter gourd well before cutting into half lengthways. Discard seeds and cut diagonally into 1½ cm-thick slices. Rinse fermented beans well. Cut red chili peppers diagonally into sections. Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil to stir-fry garlic and fermented beans until fragrant. Add shredded pork and stir-fry until it separates. Add bitter gourd and all the seasonings to taste. Stir-fry rapidly until flavor is absorbed. Add red chili pepper sections and mix well. Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.
Note: Green bitter gourd is crunchier. White is more tender. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon, then cut into sections. This will make the bitter gourd crunchier and speed up the cooking time. The red chili pepper in this dish is only for appearances, do not add to early or fry too long or it will lose its bright color.