Stir fry bitter gourd with dried shrimps is a popular dish in southern China region. The bitterness of the melon matches perfectly with the dried seafood while oyster sauce can also bring out the flavor of the dish.

The dish may not be welcome by people who live in cold and dry weather. According to the theory of Chinese food therapy, bitter gourd is “cold” in nature so it is suitable to help cool down eaters who live in wet and hot environment such as Guangdong and Sichuan province. For people who cannot consume too much cold-nature food, a piece of ginger can be added into the pan before the stir-frying.

Bitter melon is a vegetable good to health. Photo: Asia Times

Bitter melon can improve a person’s appetite and is good to health as it contains antioxidants and a lot of different vitamin C and carotene. The vegetable should be stir fried for no more than seven minutes to preserve nutrition and texture.

Dried shrimps are also very popular in southern China region, especially in coastal cities such as Chiu Chow in eastern Guangdong province. The fried seafood tastes as delicious as the fresh one with oyster sauce and garlic.

Ingredients:

Bitter gourd is good to health Photo: Asia Times

One piece of bitter gourd
150g dried shrimps
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of brown sugar
3-4 tsp of oyster sauce
Water
Oil
1 slice of ginger (optional)

Soaking dried shrimps Photo: Asia Times

Method:
Soak the dried shrimps in warm water for 10 minutes
Slice the bitter gourd
Fry the garlic for 30 seconds and set aside
Fry the dried shrimps for 1-2 minutes and set aside
Fry the bitter gourd for 4-5 minutes
Add salt, brown sugar and oyster sauce
Add the fried garlic and dried shrimps for another 1-2 minutes
Serve the dish with rice

Guest chef:

May Wu, or Mrs Tsang, is good at cooking home-made Chinese dishes. Photo: Asia Times

May Wu, or Mrs Tsang, is a Hong Kong-based housewife who is good at cooking Chinese dishes. Born in Hong Kong with her family originated from Chiu Chow in Guangdong province, May accumulated her cooking experience mainly by self-learning.

Contact us at kitchen@asiatimes.com

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