Oriental Stir-Fried Beef and Bitter Melon


– 1 tablespoon of fermented black beans
– 1 lb of bitter melon
– ½ lb of lean beef
– 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
– 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
– ¼ teaspoon of salt
– Pinch of sugar
– 2 tablespoons of water
– 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
– 1 clove garlic
– 1 ½ tablespoon of cooking oil
– ¼ teaspoon of salt
– 1 ½ tablespoon of cooking oil
– ½ cup of stock


– Soak the fermented black beans.
– Slice the bitter melon in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds; then cut into quarter-inch slices. Parboil 2 to 3 minutes.
– Thinly slice the beef against the grain. Combine the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, soy sauce, salt and sugar. Add to beef and toss to coat.
– Blend the water and the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a paste. Drain the soaked black beans. Mince the garlic and mash with the beans.
– Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the remaining salt, then beef. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the beef loses its redness. Remove from pan.
– Heat remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the black bean mixture and stir-fry a few times. Add the bitter melon and stir-fry for about 1 minute to heat and coat with oil.
– Stir in the stock and heat quickly. Cook, covered, for 2 minutes, over medium heat.
– Return beef and stir-fry gently to reheat and blend flavors. Stir in the cornstarch paste to thicken.
– Serve immediately.

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