Bitter gourds, like durians, are an acquired taste.
When I was a child, my mom would force my sister and I to eat bitter gourds. It was almost like we were being punished for some crimes we did not commit.
Looking back now, I am really grateful that my mom made us eat all those bitter gourd dishes that she cooked. Because bitter gourds are really delicious, once you get used to the slight bitterness. (I can hear the LAM yelling, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, haha.)
To make this dish, I used some baby bitter gourds that I had found in the supermarket.
After they had been washed, I trimmed off both ends, and sliced each gourd into half lengthwise. Using a spoon, I removed the seeds and most of the white membrane.
Then I cut them into bite-sized pieces.
In the meantime, I cut the chicken thighs into small bite-size pieces and seasoned them with light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, white pepper and corn flour.
In a heated wok, I stir-fried minced garlic in some vegetable oil for about 30 seconds. Into this, I added the chicken and continued stirring for about 2-3 minutes.
I added the bitter gourd, followed by oyster sauce, more white pepper (I love pepper!), water and some sugar.
I covered this with a lid, and braised the chicken and bitter gourd on very low heat for about 15 minutes, so the chicken was cooked through and tender.
Try this. Maybe you will fall in *like* with bitter gourd too!
- 500g chicken thigh, skin removed and cut into bite-sized pieces, seasoned with 1 teaspoon light soy, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine, a dash of white pepper and 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 3 baby bitter gourds, seeds removed and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- A dash of white pepper
- Heat oil in saucepan, add garlic, stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry 2-3 minutes.
- Add bitter gourd, oyster sauce, sugar, water and pepper. Stir to mix.
- Cover saucepan with lid. Cook on very low heat for about 15 minutes, until chicken is tender.
- Serve hot, with rice.