A common stir-fry among the Chinese household, it is fragrant and at the same time deliciously addictive. The pairing of Salted Egg with the Bitter Gourd removes the bitterness from the vegetable and add an extra taste and fragrant to our dish. Another method to coerce our family members to eat up the bitter gourd. Another version of this too is made with White Bitter Gourd- deemed superior compared to the normal green bitter gourd.
Chinese salted egg is made from duck egg, soaked in its briny mixture for about 30-40 days, before coating them up with charcoal paste. Could be obtained from the Chinese Stores or any Egg section of hypermarkets. A good quality salted egg should have a salty aroma with its yolk looking reddish orange and its white still translucent. Cooked yolk that releases oil, is considered superior.
A walk through the memory-lane and how I came about to cook this dish.
Lets get to the Chinese part of my family~ my granma- Papa’s Mother.
When I was young, to be honest I wasn’t a fan of the bitter gourd. I just have to refuse to eat it because of the bitterness. My grandma has to always find a way to get me to eat it, but always failed. Every time she brings me to my gran-aunt’s house (which is also her sister),this meal is always served on the dinner table. Almost a staple. But it got me cringing. Just like the saying goes “The fox that calls out the grapes t be sour, just because it couldn’t taste” only in my case I wouldn’t even when I was served with it. Grandma has always a funny way in tricking me into eating herbs and other nutritious food. As a child I was taste conscious, just like all the other children. I found one -day, my granma cooking the same dish that was served in my gran-aunt’s place. Her only reply ” Same family member, hence same food served” (which she meant, its cooked commonly among our family members). Peaked my curiosity slightly, hence I tried.
Years, passed, I truly enjoyed it. But ever since her demise no one in the house-hold serve it anymore. To add that I got drifted away in my career back then, caught up with work and in a phase where a proper home-cooked meal is a rare treat. Till the day Papa passed, which brought me back home. I slowly try cooking some home-cooked food that were usually served by my grandma.
When the first time my boyfriend planned to visit me, I asked him has he ever tried any Chinese Meal? In which he did and proceeds naming me all the hawker foods. This is where I decided to make him the Bitter Gourd and Salted Egg dish. To add that his visit completes my family, like a missing puzzle found, where everyone is in there. Hey, since he have never been properly fed with homely Chinese Meal why not right? I was only elated to find out that this dish became his favourite and I have begun cooking for him and the rest of our family when we are together for dinner. 😉
How To Make Stir-Fried Bitter Gourdwith Chinese Salted EggsPrint This
- 1 whole Bitter Gourd- (Halve the bitter gourd and scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then slice them up thinly and salt them up for five minutes before rinsing away under running water)
- 2 large Chinese Salted Eggs ( boil the eggs before separating the yolks from the whites. Smash the yolks completey, and chop up the whites roughly)
- 4 cloves of Garlic (chopped finely)
- 1 Red Chili (sliced thinly)
- 1 stalk of Scallion/Spring Onion (sliced up)
- 1 tbsp Goji Berry (soaked in water)
- 2 tbsp Chicken Broth or else 1/2 tsp Chicken Stock Powder mixed with 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp Oil
- In a pot of boiling water add in the bitter gourd, and let it boil under slow heat.
- Heat up the wok or pan and pour the oil in it. Let it heat up, then add the smashed yolk and fry till it goes frothy.
- Add in the chopped garlic and fry till fragrant.
- Strain and remove the bitter gourd from the boiling water, and cook it with the frothy egg and garlic.
- Add in the chicken broth or chicken powder mixture.
- Stir well and add in the chopped whites and cook for another 1 1/2 minute.
- Next, add in the sliced red chili, soaked goji berries, and sliced scallions and stir-fry for another minute.
- Our stir-fried bitter gourd with Chinese salted eggs is ready to be served.
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