Stir-fry White Bittergourd & Pork

This is an easy stir-fry using Taiwanese white bitter gourd (bitter melon). I love Taiwan, and I really missed my annual Taipei trip, during which I will work, cook in my studio apartment and eat local for at least 3 weeks. The bitter gourd in Taiwan is white and I think it has a more pleasant bitter taste than the local green ones here (or is it the “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome)? Anyway, when I saw white bitter gourd here, I bought one and cook it the same day to make this dish, reminiscing my time in Taipei.

More Meat & Veggies Stir-fries:
See Also:

Stir-fry White Bittergourd & Pork Recipe

Stir-fry White Bittergourd & Pork Recipe

Since the bitter gourd is popular in Taiwan, I used my favourite Taiwanese chilli soybean paste for the stir-fry. The sauce is a staple in my pantry, and it is a very convenient fail-safe sauce to use in stir-fries, as it is very tasty and stands well on its own.

Stir-fry White Bittergourd & Pork Recipe
With the savoury sauce, this dish goes so well with rice.

Stir-fry Bittergourd & Pork Recipe
And yes, the recipe can be substituted with great results with local green bittergourd, available all year round.

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.