We recently received 600 cases of bitter melon from a new Yemeni vendor, Saba. What is bitter melon? Originally from Africa, it’s a subtropical vining plant commonly found in Asian, African, and Caribbean cuisine. Alameda County, one of the most culturally and economic diverse communities in the state, is known for its rich and vibrant food culture so our sourcing team works hard to ensure our produce inventory is as diverse as the community we are part of.
We wanted to give bitter melon a try, so Aleth, our strategic procurement lead, cooked up and shared a recipe with bitter melon, which you’ll find below!
Sautéed Bitter Melon
2 pcs. bitter melon
15-20 pcs. shrimp
¼ pound pork (optional) – sliced in bite size pieces
3 eggs (beaten)
1 medium size tomato (cut in cubes)
1 medium size onion
6 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Salt and pepper (or fish sauce as salt substitute, if preferred)
- Prepare bitter melon: Cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds and cut crosswise (about 1cm thick).
- Combine bitter melon and good amount of salt to extract some of the bitterness. Leave for at least 30 minutes, then rinse very thoroughly to remove salt. Set aside in a strainer.
- When using pork, simmer separately until tender – drain and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan.
- Stir fry shrimp until half done and set aside (don’t overcook).
- Heat 3 tablespoons cooking oil in the same pan.
- Add cooked pork and stir fry until light brown.
- Add onion, garlic and tomato, and cook until soft.
- Season with salt (or fish sauce) and pepper.
- Stir in bitter melon until slightly tender but not overcooked to maintain color.
- Push mixture to the side of pan and add beaten eggs, continue to stir until cooked.
- Mix cooked eggs and shrimps with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add salt and pepper (as needed).
- Transfer to a serving plate. Serve with steamed rice.