Bitter Melon with Eggs

Stir-fried bitter melon with eggs is a classic Chinese dish.  It’s the kind of no-fuss recipe you whip up quickly on a weeknight without having to defrost anything or chop a million things. Truly my kind of recipe. The bitterness of the melon (also known as bitter gourd) is balanced by the richness of the eggs. It’s a go-to recipe right up there with Beef with Bitter Melon in Black Bean Sauce. Note: It’s been a while since we’ve posted—probably the longest hiatus we’ve had since we started The Woks of Life eight years ago believe it or not. But we have a good reason! We’ve been super busy photographing our upcoming cookbook (coming out Fall 2022!). But don’t worry, we’ll be getting back to a more regular posting schedule in the coming days. I LOVE Bitter Melon I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but I absolutely love bitter melon. When I was a kid, I avoided it like the plague, not understanding why my parents would eat something that literally had “bitter” in its name.  But now that we regularly grow bitter melon in our garden every year, I’ve grown to love its bitter flavor, which contrasts so beautifully with rich ingredients like (in this case) scrambled eggs, sliced beef, and umami-packed black beans.  My partner Justin and I look forward to seeing bitter melons overflowing in Chinese markets this time of year, and especially my mom’s garden bitter melon each summer. Beef with Bitter Melon is a slightly more involved recipe, but this one couldn’t be much simpler. It’s basically scrambled eggs!  Simply scrape out the bitter gourds, slice them, and give them a quick blanch in your wok. Drain them, reheat your wok, and scramble some eggs. Then mix it all together with a few seasonings, and you’re done!  If you’ve never prepared bitter melon before, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to do it with step-by-step photos in this post.  Growing Bitter Melon  We’ve been growing bitter melon in our garden for the last few years. We’ve grown it from seed, and we’ve also purchased baby bitter melon plants from our local Chinese grocery store.  Bitter melon is a climbing plant, so all it needs is a trellis (or in our case, the garden fence) to climb. It grows best in a hot, humid environment (this summer in NJ has definitely fit the bill), with full sun.  There are a few varieties. Some bitter melons sold in Indian markets have a sharper, spikier, wartier appearance. We use the smoother type more common in Chinese cooking.  We have our bitter melons growing right next to our cucumber plant: Is Bitter Melon Good for You?  In a word, YES.  I’ve done some research about Bitter Melon, and it has the added advantage of being incredibly good for you.  It’s rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and polyphenols. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and is said to help prevent cancer and diabetes! One article I found described bitter melon as “a panacea for inflammation and cancer.”  (A reader even once contacted us for bitter melon recipes, as he had been prescribed bitter melon by a nutritionist to help treat his diabetes.)  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, bitter melon has “cooling” properties, making it a great thing to eat during the summer. It is believed to promote circulation, reduce inflammation and internal heat, and aid digestion.  Long story short, give this recipe a try. It’s easy, and it’s good for you too!  Recipe Instructions Take each of your bitter melons, and slice them in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Scrape the inside of the melon clean of any white pith, which can be particularly bitter.  Turn the melon over so that the hollowed out side is facing the cutting board, and cut into thin slices on a diagonal.  Fill your wok (or a medium to large pot) with water, and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring it to a boil. Blanch the bitter melon for 30 seconds, and drain. Set aside.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with ¼ teaspoon of salt, white pepper, and sesame oil.  Heat your wok until it’s completely dry and just begins to smoke. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, followed immediately by the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs quickly so they remain tender and do not brown. We used pasture-raised eggs, which we find have much a much deeper golden color—and they’re from happy hens! When the eggs are 70% cooked, remove them from the wok back to the bowl and set aside.  Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, and add the bitter melon. Stir-fry for 15-30 seconds, and then add the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok. Stir-fry for another 15 seconds, and add the light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.  Add the eggs back to the wok, and mix just until they’re cooked through. Remove from the wok immediately and serve. Looking for more authentic recipes? Subscribe to our email list and be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube! 5 from 2 votes Bitter Melon with Eggs Stir-fried bitter

Bitter Melon with Eggs

Stir-fried bitter melon with eggs is a classic Chinese dish. 

It’s the kind of no-fuss recipe you whip up quickly on a weeknight without having to defrost anything or chop a million things. Truly my kind of recipe.

The bitterness of the melon (also known as bitter gourd) is balanced by the richness of the eggs. It’s a go-to recipe right up there with Beef with Bitter Melon in Black Bean Sauce.

Note:

It’s been a while since we’ve posted—probably the longest hiatus we’ve had since we started The Woks of Life eight years ago believe it or not. But we have a good reason!

We’ve been super busy photographing our upcoming cookbook (coming out Fall 2022!). But don’t worry, we’ll be getting back to a more regular posting schedule in the coming days.

I LOVE Bitter Melon

I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but I absolutely love bitter melon. When I was a kid, I avoided it like the plague, not understanding why my parents would eat something that literally had “bitter” in its name. 

But now that we regularly grow bitter melon in our garden every year, I’ve grown to love its bitter flavor, which contrasts so beautifully with rich ingredients like (in this case) scrambled eggs, sliced beef, and umami-packed black beans. 

My partner Justin and I look forward to seeing bitter melons overflowing in Chinese markets this time of year, and especially my mom’s garden bitter melon each summer.

Beef with Bitter Melon is a slightly more involved recipe, but this one couldn’t be much simpler. It’s basically scrambled eggs! 

Chinese Stir-fried Bitter Melon with Eggs

Simply scrape out the bitter gourds, slice them, and give them a quick blanch in your wok. Drain them, reheat your wok, and scramble some eggs. Then mix it all together with a few seasonings, and you’re done! 

If you’ve never prepared bitter melon before, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to do it with step-by-step photos in this post. 

Growing Bitter Melon 

We’ve been growing bitter melon in our garden for the last few years. We’ve grown it from seed, and we’ve also purchased baby bitter melon plants from our local Chinese grocery store. 

Bitter Melon hanging from plant

Bitter melon is a climbing plant, so all it needs is a trellis (or in our case, the garden fence) to climb. It grows best in a hot, humid environment (this summer in NJ has definitely fit the bill), with full sun. 

There are a few varieties. Some bitter melons sold in Indian markets have a sharper, spikier, wartier appearance. We use the smoother type more common in Chinese cooking. 

Bitter melons on cutting board

We have our bitter melons growing right next to our cucumber plant:

Bitter melon plant next to cucumber plant

Is Bitter Melon Good for You? 

In a word, YES. 

I’ve done some research about Bitter Melon, and it has the added advantage of being incredibly good for you. 

It’s rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and polyphenols. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and is said to help prevent cancer and diabetes! One article I found described bitter melon as “a panacea for inflammation and cancer.” 

(A reader even once contacted us for bitter melon recipes, as he had been prescribed bitter melon by a nutritionist to help treat his diabetes.) 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, bitter melon has “cooling” properties, making it a great thing to eat during the summer. It is believed to promote circulation, reduce inflammation and internal heat, and aid digestion. 

Long story short, give this recipe a try. It’s easy, and it’s good for you too! 

Recipe Instructions

Take each of your bitter melons, and slice them in half lengthwise.

Bitter melon sliced in half lengthwise

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Scrape the inside of the melon clean of any white pith, which can be particularly bitter. 

Hollowed out bitter melon halves

Turn the melon over so that the hollowed out side is facing the cutting board, and cut into thin slices on a diagonal. 

Slicing bitter melon

Fill your wok (or a medium to large pot) with water, and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring it to a boil. Blanch the bitter melon for 30 seconds, and drain. Set aside. 

Blanched and drained bitter melon on a plate

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with ¼ teaspoon of salt, white pepper, and sesame oil. 

Eggs with sesame oil, salt, and white pepper

Heat your wok until it’s completely dry and just begins to smoke. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, followed immediately by the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs quickly so they remain tender and do not brown.

Scrambling eggs in wok
We used pasture-raised eggs, which we find have much a much deeper golden color—and they’re from happy hens!

When the eggs are 70% cooked, remove them from the wok back to the bowl and set aside. 

Partially cooked scrambled eggs in wok

Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, and add the bitter melon. Stir-fry for 15-30 seconds, and then add the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok. Stir-fry for another 15 seconds, and add the light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar. 

Stir-frying bitter melon in wok

Add the eggs back to the wok, and mix just until they’re cooked through.

Stirring eggs into bitter melon in wok

Remove from the wok immediately and serve.

Bitter Melon with Eggs

5 from 2 votes

Bitter Melon with Eggs

Stir-fried bitter melon with eggs is a classic Chinese recipe that's quick and easy to make, as well as extremely healthy and good for you!

Bitter Melon with Eggs

serves: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Take each of your bitter melons, and slice them in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Scrape the inside of the melon clean of any white pith, which can be particularly bitter.

  • Turn the melon over so that the hollowed out side is facing the cutting board, and cut into thin slices on a diagonal.

  • Fill your wok (or a medium to large pot) with water, and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring it to a boil. Blanch the bitter melon for 30 seconds, and drain. Set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with ¼ teaspoon of salt, white pepper, and sesame oil.

  • Heat your wok until it is completely dry and just begins to smoke. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, followed immediately by the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs quickly so they remain tender and do not brown. When the eggs are 70% cooked, remove them from the wok back to the bowl and set aside.

  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, and add the bitter melon. Stir-fry for 15-30 seconds, and then add the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok. Stir-fry for another 15 seconds, and add the light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.

  • Add the eggs back to the wok, and mix just until they’re cooked through. Remove from the wok immediately and serve.

nutrition facts

Calories: 215kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 6g (2%) Protein: 9g (18%) Fat: 17g (26%) Saturated Fat: 11g (55%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 233mg (78%) Sodium: 511mg (21%) Potassium: 469mg (13%) Fiber: 4g (16%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 938IU (19%) Vitamin C: 107mg (130%) Calcium: 61mg (6%) Iron: 2mg (11%)