There are 2 varieties; the bigger version can grow to 20 cm long and the smaller version grows to about 10 cm long.
In this recipe, the bittergourd is stir fried with salted egg and fresh chicken eggs. I use the longer variety.
To prepare this dish, the bittergourd is cut lengthwise and seeds taken out. The bittergourd is then cut into thin strips. To get rid of some bitterness, the cut bittergourd is blanched quickly in boiling water.
Recipe (serves 5 as a side dish)
2 eggs, stirred
1 salted egg, diced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
1tbs cooking oil
dash of pepper
Heat the oil in a pan or wok on medium heat
Toss in the chopped garlic and fry till fragrant.
Toss in the bittergourd and the 2 kinds of eggs and add a dash of pepper.
The dish is ready when the eggs are cooked.
Note: no salt is added, as the salted egg provides the salty taste and added flavour
This 2 minute video tells more about the bittergourd and how to cut them.
In the next 4 minute video, the small bittergourd is fried tempura Indian style.
This next video is in Taiwanese, a mixture of hokkien and mandarin.
In the first 11 minutes, the white bittergourd is stuffed with mashed tofu, mashed potato, shredded ginger, minced mushroom and minced red dates. Oyster sauce, dark soy, sugar, salt, pepper and sesame oil are used to flavour the mixture. The bitter gourd is pan fried for flavour and then steamed.
In the next 11 minutes, minced pork is pan fried with garlic, onion dark soy, sugar and pepper. The pork mixture is spooned over the blanched sweet potato leaves.
In this 9 minute video, the stir fried bittergourd is flavoured with dried anchovies, garlic and fermented black beans. It would be nicer to spoon out the anchovies when they are crispy and serve as a topping.