Stir Fried Bitter Melon


  • 1 pc bittergourd (250 gr/9 oz)
  • 250 g tempeh, cut in julienstrips
  • 1 pc egg, scrambled
  • 5 pc small red chillies / bird chillies (optional)
  • 5 pc shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 gloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 cm galangale, bruished
  • ¼ tsp roasted dried shrimp paste / terasi (optional) mix with some water
  • 2 pc salam leaves/bay leaves
  • 50 ml oil
  • salt

Stir Fried Bitter Melon

For some people it is hard to understand why people do eat something awfully bitter, but others find that the bitter melon's bitterness is the reason for people to eat it!
What about you?? well … all I can say is, we never know until we've tried ;-). Anyway, have you ever wondered what is actually the secret tricks of making a delicious asian stir fry dish? The answer is very simple:
1st. Sufficient spice, means more is better than less.
2nd. Stir-fry the spice until fragrant or you can smell the good aroma. Attention!!!! To most European people the smell of terasi is offensive and strong in a bad way. You should probably seal off the kitchen from other parts of the house. Honest to say even my husband has a short word about it "It stinks !!" 😉


  • Cut the bittergours in half lengthways, discard the seeds & slice thinly.
  • Add 2 tbsp salt, mix and squeeze until the juice comes out. Wash under the running water & set aside to drain.
  • Heat 50 ml oil in a fryingpan, deep-fry the tempe until gold brown. Set aside to drain.
  • Use 2 tbsp used oil in a fryingpan and stir fry the beaten eggs. Stirring quickly to get it scrambled. Keep aside.
  • Heat 4 tbsp oil in a used fryingpan and stir-fry the shallots, garlic, chilli and galangale. Stirring all the time until fragrant.
  • Add terasi & mix well. Then add bittergours & bay leaves. Cook until the vegetable is cooked. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the tempeh & scrambled egg. Stir to mix.
  • Add salt to taste. Serve hot with rice.
Keyword bitter melon, bittergours, Indonesian, tempeh

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