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Oriental Stir Fried Beef and Bitter Melon


1 tablespoon of fermented black beans.
1 lb of bitter melon.
1/2 lb of lean beef.
2 teaspoons of cornstarch.
2 teaspoons of soy sauce.
1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Pinch of sugar.
2 tablespoons of water.
1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
1 clove garlic.
1 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil.
1/4 teaspoon of salt.
1 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil.
1/2 cup of stock.


Soak the fermented black beans.

Slice the bitter melon in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds; then cut into quarter-inch slices. Parboil 2 to 3 minutes.

Thinly slice the beef against the grain. Combine the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, soy sauce, salt and sugar. Add to beef and toss to coat.

Blend the water and the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a paste. Drain the soaked black beans. Mince the garlic and mash with the beans.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the remaining salt, then beef. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the beef loses its redness. Remove from pan.

Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the black bean mixture and stir-fry a few times. Add the bitter melon and stir-fry for about 1 minute to heat and coat with oil.

Stir in the stock and heat quickly. Cook, covered, for 2 minutes, over medium heat.

Return beef and stir-fry gently to reheat and blend flavors. Stir in the cornstarch paste to thicken.

Serve immediately.

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