Bitter Melon Stir-fry
450g bitter melons (about 1¼ melons) 1 tbsp minced garlic ½ tsp chilli pepper flakes 2 tbsp oil for stir-frying 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp red wine vinegar or
balsamic vinegar ½ tsp sugar a few drops sesame oil (optional)
Cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and cut in diagonal slices. Degorge the melon (see the box at right on how to reduce the bitter). In a small bowl mash the chilli pepper flakes with minced garlic. Heat wok over medium heat and add 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add minced garlic and the chilli mixture. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the bitter melon. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then splash with balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Stir in the sugar. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until the bitter melon is browning and starting to soften. Stir in a few drops of sesame oil if desired. Serve hot. Serves 4.