Bitter Melon Tofu Stir Fry

April 28, 2020

 

Ever since I played Persona 4 many years ago, I've had a fascination with figuring out bitter melon.  I tried cooking it a couple of times, with awful results, but I also tried a bitter melon herbal tea that I liked, so I knew it had some potential.  Since this seemed like a good time to try out cooking different things, I grabbed some the last time I was in a grocery store and experimented again.  The results weren't perfect, admittedly, but they're good enough that I feel good about sharing them with any readers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bitter melons

  • 350-400 grams extra firm tofu (soy-free alternative: ¾-1 lbs. chicken)

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 3 Tbsp tamari sauce (soy-free alternative: 3 Tbsp coconut aminos)

  • 1 tsp ground sea salt

  • ½ tsp sesame seeds

  • suggested seasoning:

    • ½ Tbsp ground paprika

    • ½ tsp garlic power

    • ½ tsp chili pepper powder

    • ½ tsp merken (alternative: additional ½ tsp chili pepper powder)

    • ½ tsp ground sea salt

    • ¼ tsp ground ginger

    • ¼ tsp cumin

    • ¼ tsp ground turmeric

 

Directions:

  1. Remove ends of bitter melons.  Cut into quarters (crosswise and lengthwise).  Scoop out and discard seeds and pith.

  2. Slice into ¼-½ inch-long segments.

  3. Place in a colander and toss with sea salt.  Set aside.

  4. Cut tofu (or chicken) into bite-sized pieces, ⅛-¼ inch thick.

  5. Place coconut oil into a wok or pan over medium heat.  Allow it to heat up enough to make a drop of water sizzle immediately.

  6. Add tofu (or chicken), 2 Tbsp tamari sauce (or coconut aminos), and seasoning.

  7. Cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently.

  8. Add bitter melon slices, remaining tamari sauce (or coconut aminos), and sesame seeds.

  9. Cook until edges of bitter melon slices begin to brown, sitting frequently.

  10. Remove from heat and enjoy immediately!

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