Bitter Gourd And Egg Stir Fry

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Bitter gourd and egg stir fry

Bitter gourd and egg stir fry

Here’s another post about my holiday back in Malaysia. In my short trip back home, I only cooked 2 dishes. My sweet mother-in-law cooked almost the whole time. We actually ate out most of the time until I fell ill with high fever. Sadly my enjoyable food adventure ended there. By the time I recovered I had to leave.

The best of all are all the local fruits as I shared in my previous post, Best Local Fruits Of Malaysia. Next on the list are the local vegetables. There are a few that I really like and we ate a lot. They are the ’sweet vegetables’, ‘kangkong’ which is also commonly known as ‘water spinach’ and the local fern. On top of that I also like bitter gourd, a bitter vegetable, which is difficult to get here. It is also known as bitter melon.

Whole bitter gourd

Whole bitter gourd

My mom used to tell us that bitter gourd is very good for health. It’s a liver and kidney food she said. Chinese use it a lot in Chinese medicine to cure different types of sicknesses. My parents grew a lot of it when we were young. Bitter gourd grow on vines. I remember my job was to use newspaper to wrap it the moment the flower turned into a tiny baby bitter gourd. This is to prevent bees from damaging it. I grew up eating a lot of it and still like it very much.

Bitter gourd is easily available in Asian countries and can be cooked in several ways. It can be stir fried or cooked as soup. My mom sometimes cut them into rings, stuffed them with minced meat before putting it into a pot to steam. I was thrilled to find that Noob Cook and Anncoo had also written posts about bitter gourd recently.

I love it stir fried with eggs, my mom’s way of cooking it. It’s simple and very delicious. But I know many people don’t like it because of its bitterness.  The addition of sugar helps to take away some of the bitterness. I actually love its bitter taste. The recipe is very simple.

1 bitter gourd
1 egg (lighten beaten)
sugar (optional)
fried garlic oil

Bitter gourd cut lengthwise

Bitter gourd cut lengthwise

Cut the bitter gourd along its length. Remove the seeds inside. Slice it into thin strips. I remember we used to remove the seeds from the soft red outer layer, dry them under the sun and keep them to plant new bitter gourd plants.

Add eggs to stir fried bitter gourd

Add eggs to stir fried bitter gourd

Heat up some fried garlic oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the bitter gourd and keep frying. Add a little amount of water and cover for a minute or two. Add the egg and stir. Add some salt and a little sugar according to your taste. Taste for the texture that you prefer. Dish up and serve hot.

Do you like bitter gourd? What is your favourite way of cooking it? Please share, add and comment in the comment box.

Other vegetable stir fry recipes that you may be interested in:
Shrimps And Bok Choy Stir Fry
Lamb And Bok Choy Stir Fry
Zucchini And Salted Fish Stir Fry
Leeks And Curried Chicken Stir Fry
Creamy King Prawns And Marrow Stir Fry
Chinese Cabbage With Turkey Mince Stir Fry

More vegetable stir fry recipes at

Quote of the day……

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength.”

Ralph Sockman

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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claire  on July 14th, 2010

Bitter gourd is good for health.. for hypertension, as an antioxident, for cooling effects.. lol..
I didnt know u were back in Malaysia.. hope u enjoyed yr stay here.. eat until sick? gosh.. hahahaha..guess too much food is not good too, right?

3hungrytummies  on July 14th, 2010

If only the other tummies enjoy bitter gourd as well :( Just saw your pepsi chicken, I have actually try the version with 7up :) Looks good!

lequan@luvtoeat  on July 14th, 2010

This is one of the recipes that my grandma always used to make. Sometimes after stir frying with eggs she would make it into a soup with pork bones and add vinegar so the soup actually tastes vinegary and goes well with the bitterness when you bite into the melon. I also love this stir fried with black beans and shrimp. Mmmm…bitter melon.

Amy @  on July 14th, 2010

Yum. My mum makes something similar to this. She turns it into an omelette. i love it! I also like eating the bitter gourd chopped up with pork floss as a snack.

Sushma Mallya  on July 14th, 2010

Very unique combo,never heard abt this stir fry before but looks delicious and seems really very easy…

love2cook  on July 14th, 2010

I’d always run away when my mum cooks bittergourd during my younger days. Not knowing the goodness at that time. The stir-fry looks absolutely delicious! :)

Nasi Lemak Lover  on July 14th, 2010

Look simple and nice.

Sidney  on July 14th, 2010

Yucks, I don’t like bitter gourd….but it is good for health…being told by older generation, it can reduce body heat and they claim to be good for our health…but i can take it due to the bitterness…but i do take it occasionally which being force too…haizz

kristy  on July 14th, 2010

I love bittergourd omelette! They taste fantastic together. So, did you packed alot of those local cooking paste or spices/ingredients back to London with you? Sure nothing miss out? haha… Hope you’re having a great day back there!
Cheers, Kristy
p/s I’m sure you miss home again!

Chef Dennis  on July 14th, 2010

hi Mary

I have seen those in the chinese markets, I did not know what they were… make them sound very good!
thanks so much for sharing!

the lacquer spoon  on July 14th, 2010

This is very summery, great! Japanese has a similar dish in Okinawa, South Japan, adding egg plus spam meat :)

denise @ quickies on the dinner table  on July 14th, 2010

I’ve been told that bittergourd cleanses the kidney and prevents kidney disease. I love this vegetable and my grandmother used to cook it like you do too! My favourite two ways to cook this are with prawns and chilli or in fish asam pedas.

Tasty Trix  on July 14th, 2010

I have been wanting to cook with bitter gourd, just not sure what to do with it - this looks like the perfect thing!

penny aka jeroxie  on July 14th, 2010

I actually quite like bittergourd and the bitterness.

busygran  on July 14th, 2010

I love bittergourd cooked in whatever way. I have acquired the taste since childhood. My mum told me it’s good for cleansing the body of toxins???

Priya  on July 14th, 2010

Very delicious and great looking stir fry..

Umm Mymoonah  on July 14th, 2010

We too do something similar to this, looks so yummy.

anncoo  on July 14th, 2010

Hi Mary, I love bitter gourd. So anything you cook with bitter gourd, remember to call me ;))
There are stalls selling fish bee hoon soup here with sliced bitter gourd added in it.

swathi  on July 14th, 2010

I make stir fry some what similar , however i am not a fan of this bitter gourd. I like the indian ones. This ones get soggy while cooking. Looks good, it has lot of health benefits

peteformation  on July 14th, 2010

Sorry to hear that you got fever when you were back here. The weather is very hot these days.

I cooked bitter gourd with eggs last weekend….nice!

Cheah  on July 14th, 2010

Hey, I made this some time back too. I like bitter gourd too!

Pepy @Indonesia-Eats  on July 14th, 2010

Yay! I love this. I have influeneced my husband to like it too.

Pepy @Indonesia-Eats  on July 14th, 2010

Mostly stir fry with tiny anchovies and tauco. Also, fill with fish paste, steam and eat with spicy peanut sauce

Mary  on July 14th, 2010

@claire - We better include more of it in our diets :P We sure need good health to stay long in blogging…haha :D Ya lor, to much good food until sick :P Also, weather sooooo hot!

@3hungrytummies - I can join you to eat bitter gourd next time if you have to eat this alone..haha :D The other tummies don’t know what good stuff they miss! Mmm…would love to try cooking chicken with 7-Up next time. I’m sure it’s delicious too.

@lequan@luvtoeat - Wow…thanks very much for sharing more ways to cook bitter gourd! :D Sounds very delicious….mmm. Never thought of adding vinegar in it. Got to try next time.

@Amy @ - Into an omelette? Wow…that must be delicious. I should have added more eggs and then it would be bitter gourd omelette! :D Next time! Wish I can get pork floss here so that I can try it too as a snack. Thanks very much for sharing, Amy.

@Sushma Mallya - It’s really simple, easy and I like it. Hope you get to try it one day. :D

@love2cook - Haha…do you still run away? Guess you don’t, right? It’s too good to miss…..a very healthy vegetable in many ways. Hope you are eating more these days :D

@Nasi Lemak Lover - Thanks very much, Sonia! :D

@Sidney - Oh, Sidney, it’s good for health so you have to try to eat it. Poor thing you have to be forced to eat it….haha :D Train yourself now so that you can be a good example to your children next time :P

@kristy - I really have to try bitter gourd omelette. Never thought of it as an omelette. I should have added more eggs each time I cook then I would have made a bitter gourd omelette! :D Very glad now that I have learned! Yes, bought some but it’s never enough! Of course, miss home a lot! Looking much forward to going back again.

@Chef Dennis - Maybe buy a small one and try. Add some sugar if you don’t like the bitter taste. It takes a while to acquire the taste. Soon you will like it. I wish I can get them easily here! I like it very much :D

@the lacquer spoon - Ooooh…I will have to add spam meat next time. That makes me drool now….mmm. Thanks very much for sharing! :D Will have to add next time.

@denise @ quickies on the dinner table - That’s what I heard too. Lucky we to be well trained from young! :D Thanks very much for sharing different ways to cook bitter gourd, Denise! I would love to try next time.

@Tasty Trix - This one is very simple. Give a try. Hope you like it :D

@penny aka jeroxie - Lovely to know you like it :D

@busygran - We have been well trained from young! :D All our elder Chinese folks speak of its many health benefits…..just have to be true I believe. We better eat more :D

@Priya - Thanks very much, Priya! :D

@Umm Mymoonah - Lovely to know that! :D Its sure delicious….mmm

@anncoo - I’ll surely remember that! :D Bee hoon soup with bitter gourd? I’m sure I will love that. I need a big bowl with more bitter gourdl! :D

@swathi - I wonder how is the Indian version like. So far I only know of this one type. Hope I’ll see some next time. Thanks very much for sharing, Swathi! :D

@peteformation - Ya, the weather was so unbearably hot and humid….just made me lethargic :( But I do love the heat from the sun cos I really miss the sun. It’s most of the time cold here. It’s summer now but still very cold. Looking forward to hotter days to come. Oh…are you posting the bitter gourd dish on your blog? Would love to see yours :D

@Cheah - Did you post it on your blog? Lovely to know you like it too :D

@Pepy @Indonesia-Eats - My husband doesn’t really like it. If I cook this, I will eat it alone. I have to find ways to influence him too. Wow….awesome ways to cook it! I love it! I would love to try that next time. Thanks very much for sharing, Pepy! :D

Light Delight with TouTou  on July 14th, 2010

I like this Bitter Gourd! I usually sautee them with black pepper so it won’t be so bitter taste :-) But I know they are really good for summer!

Stella  on July 14th, 2010

Hey Mary, I always see bitter gourd when I visit my Mom in Atlanta, but never knew how to cook it. Now I do! Thanks…
Sorry you got sick on your trip Mary. That’s no fun.

Sook  on July 14th, 2010

I’ve never tried gourd before.. This looks good.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance  on July 14th, 2010

My husband made something like this once and we’re game for just about anything but….yikes! Too, too bitter. Couldn’t do it!

Drick  on July 14th, 2010

I have never heard of this one either - you are just full of surprises

Jeannie  on July 14th, 2010

Very good for health and I love this dish, but my boys definitely won’t eat lol! I usually ended up eating it on my own so I buy only half of the bittergourd. And I add a lot more eggs coz I love them!

Blackswan  on July 14th, 2010

I love bittergourd & one of our family’s fave is Bittergourd Chicken. It’s really tasty. Click on the highlighted link & hop over to check it out! Hope u’ll like it too :)

Roti n Rice  on July 14th, 2010

I am glad we can get bitter gourd here in MN. I like it stir fried with spicy black beans and shrimps. It is also good with eggs. Your dish looks delicious!

rebecca  on July 14th, 2010

wish we had nandos in the US eat some for me, I made this once for my hubby lol

tigerfish  on July 14th, 2010

Yes. I love this. I also cook it with eggs in stir-fry or soup. Recently, I enjoy cooking it with tomatoes.

TasteHongKong  on July 15th, 2010

Bitter gourd in soup had once helped cure the few pimples on my forehead when I was young. Sadly, I have not developed an appetite for such healthy food even I get older : (.

Ivy  on July 15th, 2010

Sorry to hear that part of your trip you had the fever. Bitter gourd is something I have seen in a lot of blogs but never tried it as it is not available in Greece. We make similar dishes in Greece abd Cyprus with eggs.

Mary  on July 15th, 2010

@Light Delight with TouTou - This is new to me too. Wuld love to try that next time. Thanks very much for sharing, Tou Tou! :D I only wish I can easily get bitter gourd here.

@Stella - Give a try. I hope you like it. If not, I hope you try to like it because of its many health benefits :D

@Sook - Hope you will give this humble vegetable a try. I like it very much :D

@Michelle @ Find Your Balance - Oooops…so sorry to hear that! A some sugar to lighten it up. It’s a vegetable with many health benefits. Chinese use it for medicine. Hope you will give more tries to it and like it soon :D

@Drick - Hope my surprises cheer you up :D Maybe it’s possible to make a lovely dessert out of it…haha

@Jeannie - No one in my family likes this dish so if I cook here I will enjoy it all alone….no one to fight with :P Next time I will add more eggs too…mmm

@Blackswan - Thanks very much for the link, Shirley! :D It’s a lovely recipe. I like it. I would love to try next time.

@Roti n Rice - You are very lucky. I wish I can easily get it here. Maybe it’s more easily available down in London Chinatown. Will try that next time if I am there. It’ such a delicious vegetable despite its bitterness :P

@rebecca - I’ll eat more for you next time…haha :D Hope your hubby like this bitter gourd.

@tigerfish - Oooh…another new way to cook it…with tomatoes. I’m sure it tastes very delicious. I would love to try that too :D

@TasteHongKong - Wow…that’s good news! :D I better share with friends who have pimples, especially those young ones. I think it’s an acquired taste so may be you can give yourself more time to try it. May be try cooking it in different ways.

@Ivy - Looks like it’s an Asian vegetable. The ones available here in UK must have been imported. They are expensive if ever there is. may be I should try planting them :P

Elin  on July 15th, 2010

Mary…I cook them with vermicelli too besides the normal way of preparing them :)
here it is

pigpigscorner  on July 15th, 2010

I always buy bitter gourd whenever I go to Chinatown!

pegasuslegend  on July 15th, 2010

love to learn about things I never heard of this sounds really healthy

Catherine  on July 15th, 2010

I’ve never heard of bitter gourd before! Like the idea of having it in an omelette!

Mary  on July 15th, 2010

This looks very interesting. i am able to get bitter melon at an Asian market here in town. I had tried it once before and did not care for it. I suspect I didn’t handle it properly. I’ll have to try your recipe. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

lisa ng  on July 15th, 2010

Love Bitter gourd! not too long ago i steamed them with chicken and jujube and thank you for your comment :) I have made bitter gourd in many ways but have not tried the stuffing method and hopefully i have time to whip that up - hmmm fried or steamed ….will share with you.
Thank you Mary!
CookNg Sisters

la Gourmande  on July 15th, 2010

I never had a bitter gourd like this one. I cook, or eat raw, the goya one from Okinawa and I like eat.

Magic of Spice  on July 15th, 2010

I so enjoy bitter gourd, but I rarely find it…Great recipe, and so sorry that you were ill during your trip back home, but I am hoping you are doing much better:)

Shirley  on July 16th, 2010

We do cook bitter gourd regularly as it is very good for stomach worms in kids. I’ve never tried it with egg. I used to buy them in the Indian stores in Edi Mary, they are available.
Here’s my post on bitter gourd paratha with the health benefits.

DG  on July 16th, 2010

I also heard that Bitter Gourd is good for health, but sorry … I’m not a fan of it.

However, I am a fan of your blog, and I would like to pass 2 awards for you, please feel free to collect it from my blog :)

The Kitchen Masochist  on July 16th, 2010

I can never learn to like this vegetable. I’ve tried to acquire the taste for this many times since it’s commonly used here. I just can’t take the bitterness.

There’s a dish here that’s prepared similar to this except they add onions, more eggs and prawns to it, which I’m sure you’d love!

I know the leaves are dried and used as tea, but do you guys eat the bitter gourd’s leaves fresh too? The leaves are eaten fresh here, they’re used as vegetables, like spinach or bok choy. I can tolerate their leaves, but not the fruit they bear.

My Simple Food  on July 16th, 2010

Hi! My mom has been telling me all these years abt the goodness of bittergourd but I never acquire the taste. This is probably a good dish to start cos a friend of mine loves this dish!

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Mary  on July 21st, 2010

@Elin - I have checked out your recipe. It looks very delicious. Thanks very much for sharing, Elin! :D Would love to try next time.

@pigpigscorner - I think I’m going to buy lots if I ever visit London Chinatown. The one here is so small….very little choice and often out of stock :(

@pegasuslegend - Hope you can find this vegetable at your place. Give a try. Hope you like it as it’s bitter, but very mild. I like it very much :D

@Catherine - Give a try if you can find at your place. Have fun cooking! :D

@Mary - I can imagine your first attempt. I guess it’s an acquired taste. Maybe give another few tries. Hope you’ll like it soon as it’s good for health :D

@lisa ng - Wow……your steamed bitter gourd with chicken and jujube sounds very delicious. I wish I can cook it now….but sadly…no bitter gourd :( Hope you do the stuffed one soon. At least I can feast with my eyes :D

@la Gourmande - Oh my gosh…you ate it raw! I salute you for that. Thanks very much for sharing the link! :D The dish looks very delicious.

@Magic of Spice - Thanks very much! :D I’m doing fine now. Looks like we are in the same boat….loves bitter gourd but rarely find it :(

@Shirley - Oh wow…didn’t know it’s good for stomach worms in kids….bet for adults too. I only know that pomelo is good for stomach worms. Thanks very much for sharing the link! :D What a great idea to use it as filling for paratha…mmm…delicious!

@DG - Awww…thanks very much for your lovely awards! :D So sweet of you. They are already up on my side bar. Really appreciate very much :D I know, not many people are a fan of bitter gourd. Maybe you can try cooking it different ways.

@The Kitchen Masochist - Ooops…but I can understand that. It’s an acquired taste. There are different types. Some are more bitter than others. I always choose those which bigger patterns and lighter green. These are less bitter. Then I add some sugar to take aways the bitterness.

So far, I have not tried the leaves. I heard that they can be used as medicine too. Some people dried the sliced bitter gourd, dry them in the sun and make drinks for health. I wish I can easily get bitter gourd here. It’s good that you love the leaves. They have health benefits too. Have fun cooking :D

@My Simple Food - Looks like it’s sure a good time to start. You’ll make your mom and your friend very happy! :D

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noobcook  on July 22nd, 2010

I love love love bittergourd. It’s a must have now and then to combat our tropical heat because it’s cooling. I love your version with egg, I usually add some fermented black beans too :)

Mary  on July 23rd, 2010

@noobcook - Wow……must be your top favourite! Oh, I didn’t know it’s cooling. I would love to try with black beans next time. Thanks very much for sharing! :D

Write Mom  on July 26th, 2010

A bitter remedy for too much sweetness…

I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

mycookinghut  on July 26th, 2010

My mom says the same thing every time about bitter gourd. I need to pay more attention at Chinese supermarket, cos, I am sure they have but I never seem to have seen it. Maybe I need glasses *LOL*
Bitter gourd wasn’t my favourite when I was a kid, well, cos it’s bitter. But as I grow up, I learn to love it :)

Mary  on July 27th, 2010

@Write Mom - Thanks very much for visiting! :D

@mycookinghut - Haha…I need glasses too….LOL :D I never seem to see it too. The Chinese supermarket here is quite small so I think it doesn’t really have or run out of stock too quickly.
I’m glad to know that you have come to like it.

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Write Mom  on July 29th, 2010

Hello Mary,

Thanks for visiting my site, too. :-) I like yours, I think I’ll drop by once in a while. By the way, we cook bitter gourd the way you do, we just add a few tomatoes after putting the onions. When the tomatoes are pasty, we then add the bitter gourd. I think you’d like this twist on your recipe. :-)

Wendy  on July 30th, 2010

Oh Mary… I got my friend to try making this. It’s just too bitter for our palates… maybe it is something you have to grow up eating?

Write Mom  on July 30th, 2010

Hello, Wendy,

If you’re not used to the bitter taste, you may sprinkle some salt on the sliced bitter gourd then pour hot water and squeeze the juice out. Another thing, don’t mix it too often while you’re cooking it.

I hope it would help!


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