Still, it is a vegetable eaten only occasionally, much less in its raw state. However, there are other ways to make it more palatable; one is stewed porkribs (or other meat) with bitter gourd, the other is fried beef with bitter gourd (it has to be beef and no other).
One night Oni Kee brought a small container of stewed pork ribs with bitter gourd. It was delectable; the oblong chunks of bitter gourd, soaked in the gravy of crushed preserved black beans, thick black sauce and whole garlic, were soft and juicy with a hint of bitterness.
Two days ago, I was invited by Oni to try his fried bitter gourd with beef. The dish, which is simple to prepare, consists of sliced bitter gourd, sliced beef, preserved black beans, garlic and a sprinkling of fish sauce during frying.
The bitter gourd, tasting faintly of black beans, was fried to the right tenderness, the beef chewy, yet soft and juicy. It was a simple yet tasty way to eat a vegetable many people are not particularly fond of.
And how do you select a bitter gourd that is less bitter, I asked Oni.
"Look for a bitter gourd that has thick ridges," he replied. But I was disinclined to believe him. But who knows? He may be telling the truth. The best way to test his hypothesis is to go buy one with thick ridges and one with narrow ridges and cook them separately.
Other mouth-watering dishes served that day by the homemaker were fried kway teow with onions, capsicum and beef, and steamed garrupa fish head (it was huge and only half a head was used) in preserved black beans, oyster sauce and chopped spring onions.
http://www.thehealthierlife.co.uk/article/2821/bitter-melon.html Picture of bitter gourd from: http://www.special-tea.com/