Bitter melon stuffed with delicious, savory ground port studded with goji berries and onions. It’s a beautiful side dish to serve with rice, enjoy on its own or turn into a heart-warming soup. Stuffed bitter melon is a traditional Hakka dish. It’s delicious and savory, bitter melon could be an acquired taste, but it’s a favorite of ours.
If only I could produce blog posts just by thinking about it or as I create a dish, this blog would have 20 times more recipe than what it has right now.
We started growing a garden this year, and with bitter melon being one of our favorite vegetables, it was a must in the garden. It started slow, seems to need a lot of heat to grow. Only one plant out of 5 made it to full size, but it’s now producing a good amount of bitter melons! There’s also a number of farmers at Rochester Downtown Farmers Market selling bitter melons. I often hear people asking how to prepare them while I was shopping at the market, so I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite recipes and introduce more people to these wonderful vegetables.
Making Stuffed Bitter Melon
This is a super easy and simple dish- make your fillings, clean the bitter melon, stuff it and steam. It doesn’t take long to prep but is sure to impress.
Is it bitter? Yes. It’s supposed to be, but our home-grown ones are not for some reason. According to my mom, the white bitter melons are much milder than the green ones, the greener it is, the more bitter it is. It’s a rule of thumb, but not always true. I’ve had really bitter white ones and really mild green ones, it all depends on how and where they’re grown.
Bitter melon is a superfood. If you try looking up bittermelon on Amazon, you’ll find all these bitter melon capsules. It is used for managing blood sugar and treating diabetes, enhancing body immunity, hemorrhoid relief, help sharpen vision, relieving asthma, enhance skin and treat skin conditions, plays role in cancer prevention and helps treat HIV and herpes. It’s high in vitamin C and vitamin A!
- 4 Medium-sized Bitter Melon
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- 4 TBsp Soy Sauce
- 1 TBsp Sugar
- 2 TBsp Cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp White Pepper
- 4 Cloves Garlic minced or grated
- 1 Small Onion Diced
- 1 Small Carrot finely chopped
- 2 Sprigs of Spring Onion
- 1/4 C Goji Berries
- Clean and cut the bitter melon into 2" thick rings. Scoop out the seeds and discard the foamy parts.(To stuff a whole bitter melon: cut a rectangular hole and remove all the seeds, then stuff)
- Mix together ground pork with all the seasoning- soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, white pepper. Keep stirring hard until the mixture is sticky, pick up the ball of ground pork and throw it back into the mixing bowl to help fast-track the process.The mixture should be dough-like when it's done.
- Add the remaining ingredients for the pork mixture and mix well.
- Stuff the pork mixture into the rings.
- Place on a plate and steam on high for 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked.(Some also like stuffed bitter melon in a clear broth soup. To do that, add these stuffed babies to chicken broth and boil until the meat is cooked.)