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Stir-fry White Bittergourd & Pork

Stir-fry White Bittergourd & Pork

The white bittergourd can be substituted with local green bittergourd with the same results.

This stir-fried bittergourd and meat dish is deliciously savoury and goes very well with rice.


  • 100g pork* sliced thinly & diagonally against the grain; see notes
  • half bitter gourd (bitter melon/苦瓜) about 200g after prep
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp cooking oil divided
  • 1 stalk spring onion (white part) cut to short sections
  • 1 stalk spring onion (green part) cut to short sections
  • 1 level tbsp Taiwanese spicy soybean paste** (豆瓣酱) see notes
  • 2-3 tbsp water use more if needed
  • 1/2 tbsp Chinese wine (Hua Tiao/Shaoxing)

(A) Marinade

  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese wine
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 dashes white pepper powder


  1. Marinade pork in (A) for at least 15 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Prepare bittergourd by cutting it in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard the spongy white portion in the middle. Cut each half in the middle lengthwise again, then slice to uniform thin pieces.
  3. Cook aromatics and pork. Heat oil in wok. Add 1 tsp oil, garlic, ginger and spring onion (white portion); stir-fry briefly until aromatic. Add pork and stir fry until the pork is just cooked on surface (turns opaque).
  4. Add bittergourd slices, soybean sauce and water. Stir-fry until the bittergourd slices are cooked and translucent, mixing everything evenly in the sauce. Drizzle Chinese wine along the sides of the wok during the last 10 seconds of cooking. Turn off the stove, and stir in the spring onions (green part) while the contents are hot.

Cooking Note(s):

* For the cut of pork, use lean pork (most economical cut), shoulder butt or belly (mid-range) or tenderloin pork (most premium cut and most tender). Ask your meat grocer for recommended cuts for stir-frying.

** Soybean paste. If you can’t find the exact bottle that I used, use any favourite brand, preferably Taiwanese style. Alternatively, mash whole fermented soybeans (taucheo) with the back of a spoon & add 1 red chilli to the stir-fry. Season to taste accordingly.

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4 comments on “Stir-fry White Bittergourd & Pork”

  1. One of my favourite summer dishes! I really miss bitter gourds!

  2. Also not easy to find white bittergourd here. They seasonally appear in farmers market but farmer market only happen once a week and not so convenient. I love bittergourd, and realized have not cooked them for some time already.

    Any trip to Taiwan this year or already done for the year?

  3. Hi! Can I use chili black beans that they sell in bottles instead?

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