Pan-fried Stuffed Bittermelon

煎釀苦瓜

Published: August 16, 2020

I’ve written some bittermelon recipes recently since it’s my favourite summer vegetable. Among all bittermelon dishes, Stuffed Bittermelon is my all-time favourite, not even in summer.

My late grandpa (mum’s father) is Cantonese Hakka, so my memory of home-cooking at my late grandparents’ is all about delicious Hakka cuisine my aunt prepared. Stuffing is the most popular cooking method of Hakka cuisine. Ground pork or fish are stuffed in tofu, tofu puff, eggplant, bitter melon, pepper, mushroom, or any other vegetable that has room to hold or wrap filling. My grandfather made perfect Yong-tau-foo (stuffed tofu). Such dishes are time-consuming so my family would prepare them in weekends or holidays. We tend to make a big amount; If it’s possible, it’s better prepared by one doing the stuffing while one doing pan-frying; Some families would deep-fry, kids like it. My family would do pan-fry, a more traditional way; Keep in fridge or freezer and finish in a few days; Reheat in pan or oven, or braise in sauce or soup with cabbage depends.

Read more of my Hakka stuffed food recipes –
Yong tau foo (Hakka Stuffed Tofu)
Hakka Stuffed Vegetable (CNY2020)
Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

Read more of my bittermelon recipes –
Bittermelon Salad in Lemon Mustard Dressing
Summer pineapple – Pineapple Stir-fry, Pineapple Tea
Braised Bitter Melon with Chicken Wing
Stir-Fried Bitter Melon with Canned Fried Dace and Fermented Black Soybeans
Bitter Melon, Soybean and Pork Ribs Soup

Ingredients – serve 6 to 10

  • Bittermelon, 2, about 900g, you must use those long and slim bittermelon
  • Ground pork, 500g, 3 portions of fat and 7 portions of lean
  • Dried mini shrimp, 10, optional, but it tastes better, available in Chinese grocery store
  • Egg, 1
  • Garlic, 5 cloves
  • Ginger, 20g
  • Light soy sauce, 1tbsp
  • Cornstarch, 1/2 cup, it needs cornstarch to attach meat and vegetable
  • Sugar, 1tsp
  • Salt, 1tsp
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1tbsp

How to do
1. Let’s prepare the stuffing first. Ginger, garlic, mini shrimp finely chopped; in a big mixing bowl, put them in with the pork, 1 egg, 1tbsp of light soy sauce, 1tbsp of cooking wine, and 1tsp of salt and sugar; stir in one direction with chopsticks or mixing spoon for at least 50 times till the mixture is firm; mix in 1tbsp of cornstarch; keep in fridge;

2. Then prepare the bittermelon – bittermelon washed; cut into 1 inch thick; remove the seeds with a tiny teaspoon, remove the white sponge part as much as you can; bring a big pot of water to boil, put in the bittermelon, blanch for 20 seconds, no need to bring to boil again, bittermelon doesn’t need to be cooked in this stage; drain;

3. Now let’s do the stuffing – place the bittermelon on a tray, dust a thin layer of cornstarch on, cornstarch is important, it helps to glue the bittermelon and pork filling, make sure you also spread cornstarch on the inside surface of the bitter melon ring; then stuff the pork filling in, press firmly with a small spoon, and make sure to cover any gap in between the edges of the inner bittermelon ring; also dust a thin layer of cornstarch on both sides of the stuffed bittermelon;

4. Pan-frying is easy. Better use a big non-stick pan. Heat the pan, pour in a few tablespoon of oil, a little more than you do normal stir-frying. Put in the bittermelon and pan-fry in medium heat patiently till golden both sides and the meat is fully cooked. Turn up the heat and pan-fry both sides for a few more seconds for a crispier texture;

5. I like to have them when hot with Sriracha sauce or garlic chili sauce. Reheat in oven or pan-fry in low heat. For elder generation like my grandparents who prefer a tender texture of bittermelon, you could braise the pan-fried stuffed bittermelon with Cantonese oyster sauce – put them in the wok, add half cup of water and 2tbsp of oyster sauce, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch.

用料

  • 苦瓜2根,约900克
  • 肉沫500克
  • 虾米10颗
  • 鸡蛋1个
  • 蒜5瓣
  • 姜20克
  • 生抽1汤匙
  • 生粉半量杯
  • 糖1茶匙
  • 盐1茶匙
  • 广东米酒1汤匙

做法

  1. 苦瓜选用瘦长型;肉沫我选3分肥7分瘦;放一点虾米味道更好;
  2. 先来拌馅 – 姜、蒜、虾米切末,放1个鸡蛋, 1汤匙生抽和米酒、1茶匙糖和盐;朝一个方向搅拌至上劲后,加1汤匙生粉搅拌均匀,放冰箱;
  3. 现在来处理苦瓜 – 苦瓜切成约1寸的厚片,用小勺子挖走囊,尽量把白色部分挖干净;煮沸一大锅水,放一大勺盐,水沸后放苦瓜进去焯20秒,倒出沥干水;
  4. 苦瓜铺开,撒上薄薄一层生粉;用手指粘上生粉在苦瓜内壁上,这样做肉馅煎熟后才不容易掉出来;把肉酿入苦瓜内,肉煎熟后会收缩,记得要压紧不留缝隙,肉要超过苦瓜内壁的边缘。酿完后也在表面撒上生粉;
  5. 热锅放油,油可以比平时炒菜多一点,油热放入苦瓜,中火耐心煎熟一面;再翻面把另一面煎熟。最后可以用大火把两面各煎几秒把表面煎得香口一点;
  6. 刚煎好的酿苦瓜可以蘸是拉差或蒜蓉辣椒酱吃。如果放凉了用煎锅小火加热或者用烤箱翻热更方便。我家老人喜欢吃得软一点,所以也可以加一点水、蚝油焖煮一下再打一个薄芡。
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Pan-fried Stuffed Bittermelon

煎釀苦瓜

Preparation time: 1h
Serving: 6-10

Ingredients

bittermelon 900g (2)

ground pork 500g

dried mini shrimp 10

egg 1

garlic 5cloves

ginger 20g

light soy sauce 1tbsp

cornstarch 1/2cup

sugar 1tsp

salt 1tsp

Chinese cooking wine 1tbsp

Instructions

1.Let’s prepare the stuffing first. Ginger, garlic, mini shrimp finely chopped; in a big mixing bowl, put them in with the pork, 1 egg, 1tbsp of light soy sauce, 1tbsp of cooking wine, and 1tsp of salt and sugar; stir in one direction with chopsticks or mixing spoon for at least 50 times till the mixture is firm; mix in 1tbsp of cornstarch; keep in fridge;

2.Then prepare the bittermelon – bittermelon washed; cut into 1 inch thick; remove the seeds with a tiny teaspoon, remove the white sponge part as much as you can; bring a big pot of water to boil, put in the bittermelon, blanch for 20 seconds, no need to bring to boil again; drain;

3.Place the bittermelon on a tray, dust a thin layer of cornstarch on, cornstarch is important, it helps to glue the bittermelon and pork filling, make sure you also spread cornstarch on the inside surface of the bitter melon ring; then stuff the pork filling in, press firmly with a small spoon, and make sure to cover any gap in between the edges of the inner bittermelon ring; also dust a thin layer of cornstarch on both sides of the stuffed bittermelon;

4.Heat the pan, pour in a few tablespoon of oil, a little more than you do normal stir-frying. Put in the bittermelon and pan-fry in medium heat patiently till golden both sides and the meat is fully cooked. Turn up the heat and pan-fry both sides for a few more seconds for a crispier texture;

5.Have them when hot with Sriracha sauce or garlic chili sauce.

What do you think? Share your ideas below.

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