Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stir fry Bittergourd with Prawns and a Gathering

I like eating bittergourds, be it stuffed bittergourds , chinese simple stir fry bittergourd with chicken, indian deep fried bittergourd , bittergourd soup or a simple stir fry like this. Not many people will enjoy eating bittergourd i think because of its bitterness, especially children. I have yet to know a kid that actually likes to eat bittergourd. I'm not too sure though of the availability of bittergourds in western countries but for those who have not tried bittergourds, it may not be pleasant for you eating it for the first time due to its bitterness. Some may like to rub some salt into them before cooking to reduce its bitterness and wash off, well  sometimes i do that..sometimes i just dont bother doing in when i'm in a hurry to cook.

225gm bittergourd, after thinly sliced weight, washed and drained
120gms small prawns
1.5tbsp salted bean paste ( tau cheong)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece ginger, about half thumbsize
1tsp sugar
1/2 cup water or less
some chopped birds eye chilli  ( if you like )

1. Pour some oil into the wok and saute garlic and ginger for about few seconds and put in the prawns. Let them sizzle for a while in the wok till almost cook and add in the bittergourd and the salted bean paste. Toss them around the wok and stir fry them, splashing some water into it if you find them dry. Can add the chilli here if you use them.
2.Put in the sugar and continue stir frying and adding water little by little, cover them with the wok lid and reduce the fire slightly and cook them for about 5-10 minutes. You can check the softness of the bittergourd after 5 minutes and if it's still hard, you can cover them for additional minutes till they turn a little soft with nice crunch. Taste and add sugar/water  or a little soy sauce if required. Remove from heat.

A few of us in town here met up during last Friday for a dinner. We do meet up sometimes among us and this time we have Veronica @Quay Po Cooks joining us as she had to come to Ipoh to attend another function the next day. So we thought it would be nice to gather everyone for a dinner. Also nice meeting veron's 2 other friends, Peng and Cindy for the first time. Here are some photos to share, some i stole from Veron and Claire:D

Group photo with all my sifu
seated from left to right: ElinCheah, Wendy , myself
standing behind: Claire and Veronica

first dish that we had, some fancy name ..they are fish paste with chicken skin on

Poon Choy

Black Pepper Udons
After dinner , as the night was still early, we went for karaoke...
hmm....lips alike!! Claire said that she doesnt like the wallpictures, reminds her of work!! haha!

look at veron's face...so 'cham' ( pitiful ).. .
..singing 'Tai Lui Far'...haaiz....really cham!

笑到见牙不见眼..promoting Colgate smile!


  1. I love this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I like this dish too, part of a simple homecooked dinner! Looks like a great gathering!

  3. We love bitter gourd. But I usually make it stir fried to go with my rotis. This combination of prawns and gourd looks interesting. Will surely give it a try.
    Looks like you girls had an amazing time :D.

  4. LOL.... Nice gathering babe ... Errrr I am one of them that dun fancy bittergourd LOL... been so long since I drop by.... well, I am back , I hope . LOL

  5. Looks delicious, Lena! Have not met a kid who loves bitter gourd? Come meet my son, he loves bitter gourd! And I skipped the steps of rubbing them with salt, as my hubby says, what's a bitter gourd without the bitter taste? My son would happily eat your plate of bitter gourd with prawns, yummy!
    What a fun gathering! Looks like everyone had a blasting good time! The dish with the fancy name (hahaha) and the poon choy looks yummy! Karaoke, some more! You ladies sure know how to enjoy! :)

  6. Lena, you look so radiant, young and pretty in all pictures. The rest look good too. Bittergourd dish is my husband favourite. Poon choy makes me drooling.

  7. This look awesome and love the pictures all of you and you look so nice!!

  8. hmmmm, yummy, i could finished a big plate of these bittergourds at anytime... all time fave!!!

  9. Lena I haven't met you before. I think I saw you before from Barb's photo...and now I see you again. You are still young and pretty!

    Nice gathering eh.

  10. I am like you, I love bittergourd too! My mum boils it in soup too at times.. cooling!
    Hey, I "curi" one picture to put up in FB.. linking back to your post here.. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! :)

  11. u looks sweet n young,a nice gathering I believe.

  12. I love bittergourd too. Especially the one in the restaurants where they are fried with eggs and have the "wok hei" smell. The ones with salted eggs are great too and next round I will try your recipe.

  13. I dont really fancy bittergourd, will see if this will change when I grow up :))

  14. Yeah I don't fancy bittergourds too, as in I don't eat them by itself. But surprisingly I enjoy bittergourd soup. Not sure why also, maybe it seems less bitter when cooked in soupy version ? Seem like an interesting gathering you all had, and all the sumptuous food...

  15. Too bad, i could not join this gathering as Quay Po was planning to stay overnight.If a day trip, i am sure join..Look like all you girls had so much of fun..My first time meet Cheah,hehehe..This is a humble and homey dish, i love this!

  16. I will feel pressure of sitting on this table with so many great cooks, hahaha! By the way, I didn't eat vegetables till I left my hometown to further my studies in KL. Out of my comfort zone, no mum's cookings & started to eat all kinds of vegetables & bittergourd was one of the kind of vegetables that I learned to eat from that time.

  17. I love this simple dish ! I think I'm one of those who loves eating bittergourd :D ...... Looks like all those lovely ladies really enjoyed themselves ! lol

  18. I only learnt to eat bittergourd in recent years. It's really a grown up food. I love it simply stir fried with eggs or black bean sauce. Yum.

    The karaoke session looks like great fun! :D Hope I can get to meet everyone one day too.

  19. ellen: you're welcome.

    mich: this is one of the dish that i often cook at home.

    anuja: looks like your computer line is back. i wonder how do you cook your bittergourds..

    abby: HALO!! sudah pergi mana? you like kit kat..now you see it, now you dont! haha!

    joyce: what your hubby said is true. Bittergourd supposed to be bitter! But you know, sometimes when i see the whiter bittergourd, i will buy them, it's less bitter. Let's go Kala-ok one day!

    yan: we find that there are a lot of meat in this poon choi, big chunks of ribs..actually i think most of us prefer more veggies in it :))

    gloria: thanks for your compliments!

    mimi: yeah , this is also good with porridge.

    angeline: hey, how are you? must be very busy as i see you dont post that often. yeah, me and barb close friends :)

    claire : i know..sudah nampak in FB...okay, not old girls hor?

    eileenlee: it's always nice meeting them and yes, i enjoyed the karaoke session. Just like you too, i'm sure you gals had a wondertime meeting up with one another and sonia in kl.

    phonghong: yup, i love the one with salted eggs too! so tasty!

    adeline: hahaha! you are witty!!

    joyce@ccooky: yes, i also find that it's not that bitter in soup as compared to stir fry..now that you mention it, i also feel like cooking that soup soon..:)and i like to put taufu and the little oysters in it.

    sonia: qp and her friend were here for 2 days infact..if it's not for that function that qp got to attend, i think very hard to meet her too :D

    jessie: you must be a picky eater when you were young!oh, if you join us, you can sit next to me..haha! but no lah, no pressure..just casual chat and crazy laughs!

    anne:oh u love bittergourd too? how do you cook them usually?

  20. I pun like bitter gourd !!! There's a few ways I usually cook bitter gourd .. But mostly stir fried lah. This is one of it .. Cooked with taucu & prawns memang sedap!!

  21. What a delicious sounding recipe and fun get together, you are so pretty Lena, loved seeing the picture of you!

  22. we can get bitter gourd here! but the big fat ones are harder to find! I love this simple but nutrition packed dish with prawns and veges.

  23. Since young, bitter gourd is just not my kind of food... even my Aussie colleagues eat more bitter gourd than me. Hearing from the Asians, they eat bitter gourd to regulate their blood pressure. Got to pass my collegues your delicious stir fry recipe...

    Nice to meet all the bloggers through your blog. I've seen Elin, Cheah, Veronica and Claire before but this is my first time seeing Wendy... Look like all of you are having lots of funs at the Karaoke :D Me...not the singing person...

  24. Hi Lena,
    Dreamer is back to your blog
    No more working like a dog
    Project completed last few weeks
    Thanks God for wisdom when I am weak
    You look a young slim fearless pretty
    Exercise to keep trim and healthy
    Not by magical powers, that's fantasy
    But by the wisdom of God the Almighty
    Sit-ups and brisk walking are okay
    Try to do it every other day
    For a more effective workout
    Get professional help if in doubt
    Yeah, I am also like you
    Love to eat bitter gourd too
    Nice to meet up with friends for a meal
    And karaoke to show off one's singing skill

    Bye for now

  25. Lena, Aiyoh, why Aunty Lucy so "Cham"!! Make me want to cry also!! hahahaha!! Hey thanks a million again for accomodating me and Peng in your beautiful home. It was great to meet with your hubby and your two lovely girls. You are a fantastic host. Also it was wonderful baking with you although the cupcakes did not turn out right. I enjoyed food crawling with you and thanks for bringing to the the right place for the right food. I think I put on 10 pounds in two days. My butt is already big, now is HUGE!! What I ate all goes there lah! LOL!! Love you and Hugs

  26. Looks like a lot of fun. So what songs did you sing at the Karaoke?

  27. Hi Lena, lovely photos, thanks for sharing. Seem like all of you are enjoying chatting, singing and eating the delicious foods. :)

    Bitter gourd, I like... you try bitter gourd with salted egg yolk? It taste excellent!

    Have a nice day, regards.

  28. Wah, I'm jealous leh...looks so fun! Next time I come up to Malaysia, must organize something lah...been waiting to meet u and some of the other bloggers ya. : D I must admit I wasn't a fan of bitter gourd when I was younger. Somehow the tastebud changes as I aged...now no problemo, pass me that yummy plate of bitter gourd prawns over, chow time, :D

  29. I like the poon choy and black pepper udon. It good to catch up with fellow bloggers - you gals had a great time!

  30. eileen@hundred eighty degreesJuly 18, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Bittergout! Not one that I fancy....Its amazing that Joyce's son likes it :) can tell that you gals had fun on your gathering.

  31. To tell the truth I don really like bittergourd & I can't eat prawn coz I'm allergic to it. But nevertheless this dish looks yummy & I'm gonna show my mom who loves bittergourd! You look great & young leh, leng lui! So nice can get together with other bloggers & have so much fun! And not forgetting the delicious food too! :)

  32. Hi Lena, Loved browsing through your fun photos with all the ladies; including Veronica! Looks like you all were having a wonderful time.

    The bittergourd paired with the shrimp is really, so inviting and delicious; a recipe to try for sure!
    Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos:D

  33. Oh Lena...it sure must have been fun getting together with your bloggers friends :) Enjoy the pictures...thank you!
    The bitter gourd looks good with shrimp...nice combination of flavors.
    Again, nice post and hope you are having a great week :)

  34. I'm not a huge fan of bittergourd... but this dish will definitely my mom's favourite... will let her try out this recipe one day ;)

  35. I like bittergourd too! I have been braising them with chicken and it is delicious. I seldom pair them with prawns in a stir-fry but I shall try :)

  36. Okay, first I have not yet tried bittergourd, and not just because of the name :) I have seen it a few times in a couple shops by me. I was afraid my family might not like it, but in this dish it does look good!

    Second, I love to look at "gathering" photos!! I so wish I lived close enough to join in...what fun!! and to sing too! :)

  37. I'm the kid u mentioned in there.
    So far am not grown up enough to appreciate it.
    Don't see me so big size, inside very small kid only, LOL!!!

  38. Wow! I love those delicious looking prawns on your bitter gourd, you can have the gourd, I'll help with the prawns lol!

    Nice to see you gals having so much fun, the dishes looked really delicious too!

  39. I love bittergourd, in soup or stirfried and thanks so much for organising this wonderful gathering. Yes, we gals wanna have fun!

  40. Kelly: yeah i like that with eggs too. Hope to be able to meet up with you one day too!

    ayu: hi ayu, how have you been? i tak masak banyak cara dengan peria, biasanya chicken with peria masak tauchu and also peria soup. Peria goreng dengan telur saja pun sedap!

    chris: thank you. Did i tell you that you dont even look like a grandmother?

    daphne: oh, i thot the bigger ones are more common, here we also have the smaller ones, but that i usually used to cook soup.

    zoe: surpisingly joyce's son likes bittergourd. NOw you know how wendy looks like :))

  41. dear anonymous:

    Nice knowing that you're no more a dog
    oops, i mean no more working like a dog
    I'm here still eating like a hungry pig
    Doze off during the day, call me a lazy snake
    No, not the snake that tempted adam and eve
    some thought at nite i work as a thief
    luckily now out of school, what a relief
    otherwise a duster thrown on my face
    is what the teacher will give
    sshhh..dont let my boss reads this
    if not sure goreng like a roasted beef.

  42. quay po: i also put on the pounds food crawling with you, the food all goes to your butt..dont know where mine gone. dare not step on the scale yet! haha! like elin said, how come big bums can still shake so much??!

    barb: oh, we pretended we are like theresa teng, abbas, carpenters..not lady gaga or justin bieber!

    amelia: YES! i hv tried bittergourd with egg yolks at a restaurant but i hv yet to make them at home. it's really tasty!

    bee2: would sure love to meet you one day. Maybe one day we organise a trip, a short getaway to somewhere then you can join us..!

    chris: i think you do meet up with bloggers too in singapore right? hopefully one day when i go singapore can meet some of you.

    eileen: yeah, was surpised that joyce's son like it..very rare i see kids appreciate bittergourd.

  43. kit: oh, so you're allergic to seafood or just prawns? yes, it's nice to have a gathering with them once in a while. Enjoyed their company!

    elisabeth: yeah, we had fun all nite especially during the karaoke session and believe me, veronica can really SING!

    juliana: it was a fun and nice get together and thanks again ! have a lovely sunday!

    jasline: like some of them said, bittergourd is a grown up food but even then, many adults seem to dont like them very much. Hope all is well at work.

    tigerfish: braising them with chicken is my favourite with bittergourds, very tasty dish!

    lyndsey: i think it's not easy for you to take it for the first time because it can be really bitter. yeah, we had fun that night, hope there's a day where i can meet you too!

    wendy: you small kid inside? really? hahaha!

    jeannie: thanks..sounds like you dont like eating bittergourds too..

    cheah: hope we can do this more often :)