Stir Fry Bitter Gourd with 妖肉 in Salted Black Beans
I am throwing down the gauntlet for this recipe, it super heightens umami in an amazing manner that I can’t even begin to describe it. Like they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.
This twist to an old recipe that my mum always made looks likely to stay in my arsenal of recipes. Instead of the usual beef stir fry slices, I am using “yeow” meat or in Mandarin 妖肉 as I so fondly refer to that prized cut of pork.
Sliced thinly and simply marinated with light soya sauce and white pepper yields a flavour that is out of this world. Perfect, at least it is in my culinary journey so far.
The bitter gourd fried using the pan flip method and hot oil, flung up and down to a sweetened tenderness that is just fabulous. The key is to cook the ingredients separately and then bringing them together later on to cook together.
A whole Bitter Gourd (sliced thinly or about half a centimetre thick)
2-3 tsp of Salted Black Beans
4-5 cloves of Garlic (bruised)
50 grams of “Yeow” 妖肉 (in hokkien it is called “yo lai ba”)
Light Soya Sauce
Thai Fish Sauce
1. Slice the pork into thin slices and then marinate in light soya sauce about 2 tsp. Add some white pepper. Leave the pork slices to marinate for about 5 minutes.
2. Bruise or crush the garlic, no need to mince. Then heat 3-4 table spoons of oil in the wok and stir fry the garlic pieces. Fry until the sides are slightly brown. Then add the black beans in to stir fry. Then add the marinated pork.
3. Stir Fry the pork until it starts to change colours and the water content starts to form what looks like the sauce.
4. Reserve the pork slices aside once the meat texture start to change colours.
5. In the same pan, wash and heat another 3-4 tbsp of oil. This time around, you are frying the bitter gourd using the pan flip method. Fry until the bitter gourd is softened and tender (not mushy). Add a drizzle of Thai dish sauce to the bitter gourd pieces and continue to stir fry. The key I believe is the separate frying of the bitter gourd and the addition of fish sauce.
6. Once the bitter gourd is softened, add the reserved (from just now) meat and combine the ingredients. Keep frying and ensure that the ingredients are cooked and that there is now a confluence of flavours.
7. Serve with steamed rice.