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Claypot Chicken with Bitter Gourd


Cut bittergourd (step 1)

Claypot Chicken with Bitter Gourd Recipe

If you do not have a claypot, you can still cook this dish using a regular wok or pot.


  • half bitter gourd/bitter melon (about 300-400g)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp tau cheo (soya bean paste)
  • 1/2 tbsp black fermented beans rinsed, patted dry and mashed slightly with a fork
  • 1/2 chicken cut to small pieces (you can also use chicken thighs and other cuts)
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled & bruised
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 1 tbsp Chinese wine (Hua Tiao/Shao Hsing)
  • light soy sauce to taste; optional
  • salt to taste

(A) Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Cut the bitter gourd in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrap out the seeds and white pulp. Rub some salt on the flesh portion and leave for a few minutes before rinsing the salt off. This will remove some of the bitterness (skip this step if you like it bitter). Slice the bitter gourd in half lengthwise again, then cut it to 2.5cm (1 inch) vertical slices.
  2. Heat sesame oil in clay pot, stir fry tau cheo & fermented black beans until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken pieces, bitter gourd, garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink on the surface.
  4. Add sauce (A) ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Cover claypot with lid and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with light soy sauce or salt, if needed. If you like, add a splash of Chinese wine to the cooked stew as a finishing touch, and off the flame when you smell the lovely aroma of the wine.

Noob Cook Tip

If your claypot is not big enough to stir fry the chicken and bittergourd, stir fry them in a wok first (steps 2-4) and then transfer the contents of the wok to a clay pot to simmer.

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