Stir-Fried Bitter Melon With Eggs: A Classic Chinese Recipe

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Looking for a unique and healthy addition to your dinner table? Look no further than stir-fried bitter melon with eggs! This classic Chinese dish is a fantastic way to experience the complex flavors of bitter melon, balanced perfectly by fluffy scrambled eggs. Don’t be intimidated by the name – while bitter melon has a distinct bitterness, when cooked properly, it transforms into a delightful and slightly sweet stir-fry.


Bitter Melon with Eggs
Bitter Melon with Eggs

1 medium bitter melon (about 500g)

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, julienned
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
  • 1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt, to taste

  • Instructions:

    1. Prepare the Bitter Melon: Wash the bitter melon thoroughly. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the white flesh and seeds with a spoon. Slice the bitter melon into thin half-moons. Tip: Soaking the bitter melon in cold salted water for 15 minutes can help reduce some of the bitterness.
    2. Whisk the Eggs: In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with a pinch of salt and white pepper.
    3. Heat the Oil: Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
    4. Stir-Fry the Bitter Melon: Add the bitter melon slices to the pan and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until they start to soften slightly.
    5. Add the Eggs: Push the bitter melon to the sides of the pan and pour in the whisked eggs. Let the eggs cook slightly before scrambling them with a spatula, incorporating them with the bitter melon.
    6. Season and Simmer: Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce (if using), and white pepper to the pan. Stir-fry for another minute. Pour in the water and bring to a simmer.
    7. Finish and Serve: Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the white parts of the scallions and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and garnish with the remaining scallions and red chili pepper (if using). Serve immediately with steamed rice.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    Calories: Approximately 200

  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Sodium: 500mg (depending on soy sauce)

  • Please note: This is a general estimate and the actual nutritional content may vary depending on the ingredients used.


    Stir-fried bitter melon with eggs is a delicious and versatile dish. The bitterness of the melon is balanced beautifully by the savory eggs and light sauce. It’s a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy and satisfying meal option.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I substitute something else for the bitter melon?

    Yes, if you’re not a fan of bitter melon, you can substitute other vegetables like zucchini, green beans, or asparagus. However, these vegetables won’t have the same unique flavor profile.

    2. How can I further reduce the bitterness of the bitter melon?

    Soaking the bitter melon in cold salted water for 15 minutes before cooking can help. Additionally, removing the white flesh and seeds from the center of the melon also reduces some of the bitterness.

    3. What can I add to make this dish spicier?

    If you enjoy a bit of heat, add a diced red chili pepper along with the garlic and ginger in step 3. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes with the other seasonings.

    4. Can I make this dish vegetarian?

    Absolutely! Simply omit the oyster sauce (if using) and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

    5. What are some good side dishes to serve with stir-fried bitter melon with eggs?