Savory Egg and Bitter Melon Stir-Fry

Bitter Melon: An Unexpected Love

Ever notice how our tastes evolve as we grow older? For me, one of the best testaments to that evolution has been my love for egg and bitter melon stir-fry. As a child, just the mention of bitter melon would make me push it aside. But today, its unique bitterness harmonizes flawlessly with the creaminess of scrambled eggs, the savory touch of beef, and the profound flavor of black beans. Each summer, when markets are laden with fresh bitter melons, I reminisce about my mother’s garden, where these vegetables thrived in profusion.

Embracing the Bitter Melon Culture

Bitter melon has been a star in our garden for years. From sowing seeds to nurturing tiny saplings from local Asian stores, we’ve cherished every moment. Watching this climbing plant scale our garden fence, making the most of the humid New Jersey summers, has been a pleasure. It’s fascinating to see its different avatars, from the spikier ones in Indian stores to the smoother version favored in Chinese dishes.

The Wellness of Bitter Melon

Ever wondered about the health credentials of this intriguing vegetable? Bitter melon isn’t just about unique flavors; it’s a powerhouse of nutrition. Packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and polyphenols, it’s a treasure trove of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Studies even suggest its potential in preventing serious ailments like cancer and diabetes. And, if you’re someone who believes in the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, bitter melon’s cooling attributes make it a summer favorite, promoting circulation and aiding digestion. So, while you relish this dish, remember, it’s not just a treat for your taste buds but a gift for your health.


  • 18 ounces of bitter melon (around 2 melons)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (set apart)
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (set apart)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon mild soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce (substitute with vegetarian oyster sauce for a veg version)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Steps to Culinary Delight:

  1. Begin by halving your bitter melons lengthwise. Extract the seeds using a spoon, ensuring the inner white pith is removed to decrease bitterness.
  2. Position the melon with its scooped side facing downwards, and diagonally slice it thinly.
  3. Ready your wok with water, infusing it with a teaspoon of salt. Once boiled, blanch your bitter melon for about 30 seconds and drain. Keep aside.
  4. In a bowl, combine eggs, ¼ teaspoon of salt, white pepper, and sesame oil, and whisk them.
  5. Make sure your wok is arid before heating it. As smoke starts forming, pour in 2 tablespoons of oil, swiftly followed by the egg mixture. Scramble swiftly, ensuring they stay soft and don’t brown excessively. When almost done (about 70%), transfer the eggs back into the bowl.
  6. Introduce another spoon of oil into the wok, adding the bitter melon slices. After a brief 15-30 second stir-fry, pour in the Shaoxing wine. Another 15-second stir should follow, before adding the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a hint of sugar.
  7. Reintroduce the eggs, mixing until well-cooked. Serve it while it’s hot!
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