Bitter Gourd with Pork and Fermented Beans

Bitter Gourd with Pork (Photo by hiroohi/flickr)


2 tender bitter gourds, about 155 g/5 oz
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
2 tablespoons peanut oil
155 g/5 oz minced pork
1 tablespoon chilli with fermented beans
4 tablespoons water


Cut the bitter gourds in two lengthways, scoop out seeds and centre membrane and cut across into thick slices. Put into a pan of salted cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes then drain and refresh in cold water.

Heat oil in a wok and fry the garlic and ginger, stirring, for a few seconds. Add the minced pork and fry, breaking up the meat into small pieces, until it is no longer pink. Add the chilli with fermented beans (from a shop selling Korean or other Far Eastern ingredients). Add water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Serve with rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)