Stir-fried pork and bitter melon

Bitter melon  – also called bitter gourd, what can you say about a gourd that resembles a cucumber with pockmarked skin, and has a strong, chalky flavor?  Believe it or not, It has been used in Asian cooking since centuries. Admittedly, bitter melon is a bit of an acquired taste. And you might wonder how anyone can consume this extremely bitter vegetable. The secret behind this is the various spices in which the bitter melon is blended so skilfully that the bitterness is reduced to almost nothing!

Before we move on to bitter melon recipes, lets take a brief look at bitter melon health benefits. One of the most important bitter melon health benefits is its effectiveness for diabetics. Bitter melon has been known as an excellent and natural product for diabetes. People suffering from diabetes do not have an ability to convert the sugar in their blood into energy. Bitter melon helps in enabling the uptake of glucose, and hence, indirectly helps in reducing the level of glucose from the blood. Bitter melon also helps in improving insulin production and glucose tolerance of the body, and hence, it can be included in a diabetic diet.

Not just only this, bitter melon is very effective in treating a number skin disease ranging from sores to psoriasis! Other benefits of bitter melon include detoxifying and improving the cell function, which is a boon for people suffering from cancer.

Bitter Melon Health Benefits

* Bitter melon is also found to be effective in treating skin diseases or skin infections, eczema, and even skin sores.
* Bitter melon has anti-viral properties and can be used for treating herpes virus.
* One of the other important bitter melon extract benefits is that it can also be used for treating psoriasis.
* It is also used as an purgative and anthelmintic if a person is suffering from jaundice, piles or indigestion. It is widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
* Bitter melon is most effective for its detoxifying and cleansing properties.
* Bitter melon helps in lowering blood pressure, blood sugar and also body temperature.
* It is believed that bitter melon extract can be used for treating HIV, although the theory is not proved yet. But it is found that bitter melon works against the negative reactions of HIV medications.
* It is even believed that bitter melon extract can be used against cancer, as it helps in improving cell function of people suffering from cancer.

Now that you are convinced that bitter melon should be consumed, lets take a look at a simple recipe for bitter melon: Stir-fried pork and bitter melon Recipe.

Stir-fried pork and bitter melon

Pork with bitter melon could serve 3 to 4 as part of a multicourse meal, or make a main meal for 2 when served over rice.

Ingredients for Stir-fried pork and bitter melon

2 bitter melons, preferable yellow or whiter in color
for the ground pork mixture:

3 ounces ground pork
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced

for the cornstarch slurry:

5 tablespoons oil, for stir-frying
1/4 cup water mixed with 2 teaspoons cornstarch

for the sauce:

1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons black beans, smashed
3 dried red chilies, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane grater

1, To prepare the bitter melon, Slice butter melons in half lengthwise and discard seeds. Slice across into 1/4 inch slices and set aside.

2, Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside. Combine the water and cornstarch in another small bowl and also set aside.

3, Cut the pork across the grain into very thin, 1/8-inch thick slices that are 1 1/2 – 2 inches long.

4, Combine the ground pork with the rest of the ingredients in the mixture and set aside in a bowl.

4, Heat the wok with 1 tablespoon oil over high heat,  then add the pork. Stir-fry for 2 – 3 minutes, until the pork turns white and is nearly cooked. Remove the pork from the pan.

4. Heat the wok over high heat again. Add the rest of the oil and the slices of bitter melon to the wok. Stir-fry over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the melon is considerably softened but still a bit crisp. Add the sauce mixture and mix with the melon, stir-frying for an additional minute.

6. Turn off the heat and add the slurry mixture to the wok. Stir around rapidly to prevent the cornstarch from clumping. Add a few tablespoons more water to the wok if needed to thin out the sauce. Turn the heat on to low and simmer the mixture for 20 seconds. Reintroduce the pork mixture to the dish and stir around to incorporate. Serve immediately.

On a hot summer’s day, Chinese cooks will allude to the “cooling” quality of the squash. Medicinal properties aside, stir-fried melon is a refreshing dish that’s worth looking into, even if it takes an acquired palate to appreciate. Enjoy with your own Stir-fried pork and bitter melon dish.

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Please indicate the author and link to original source when reproduced!

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