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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fried Bittergourd With Salted Duck Egg - 咸蛋炒苦瓜

Bittergournd 3

Bittergourd 2

Salted Egg

I do go to Taiwan very frequently for business but as with most business trips, your activities tend be circumcribed within a certain convenient perimeter around the hotel and office. This last vacation in Taipei with my friends has really helped me discover places that I had never been to.  I am already earmarking certain eateries and shops for revisiting when I return again.

I first ate this dish Fried Bittergourd with Salted Egg last year when my distributor took me to his friend's restaurant for lunch. I fell in love with it and had wanted since then to try cooking it at home. This time in Taiwan, I ate this again when we went up to Wulai (乌来) for a bit of hiking. (We had originally wanted to cycle there but the terrain was too steep and demanding for amateur cyclists like us) It was done wetter than  the version I had earlier and was less fragrant. Then, during our cycling trip from Taipei to Danshui (淡水)we passed by GuanDu Temple (关渡宫) where we were told to stop and buy their local specialty - salted eggs and century eggs. For those who wonder what salted eggs are, these are preserved eggs prepared by soaking, usually duck eggs in brine or densely packing the eggs with salted damp charcoal. In Singapore, it is common to find these black mud coated eggs in the market. We would usually then need to remove the black charcaol paste and hardboil the egg for consumption. The salty egg white is a perfect accompaniment to plain porridge and the egg yolk is the jewel that lures with its savory fragrance.

In Taiwan, almost all salted eggs are sold cooked. A little strange for me and to be honest, I didn't find the salted eggs at Guandu Temple impressive. The egg yolk is too dry for my liking. In my opinion, salted egg yolks should have a golden oily sheen to it.... Anyway, each of us bought like 10 salted eggs and a pack of century eggs, chuck them into our backpack and went back to complete our cycling route to Danshui...

Bitter Gourd 1

So at last, I decided to try my hand at cooking this dish at home yesterday. Again, I had no recipe to follow, I just minced up the salted eggs and fry it together with the bittergourd. It tasted different from the ones I had eaten last year - I thought the salted eggs wasn't as fragrant. Perhaps I should try it with local Salted eggs again...

Bittergournd 3(100)

1        mid size bittergourd
11/2   cooked salted egg, minced.
1/2     fresh chicken egg, beaten
2        cloves garlic


1. Cut the bittergourd and remove the pith with a spoon. Cut bittergourd into slices. Blanch the bittergourd in boiling water for 2 mins and drain.
2. In a frying pan/ wok, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add the 2 cloves of garlic and fry for a min until fragrant.
3. Add minced salted egg and fry until 'foamy' and fragrant. Add blanched bittergourd and fry to coat with salted eggs. Add the beaten chicken egg and fry quickly to set.


Happy Homebaker said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe! My elder son loves bittergourd, but I only knows how to stir-fry it with eggs! Will love to try it with salted eggs next time. We like this bittergourd dish "冰镇苦瓜" have you tried it?

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Morning HHB! I am suprised that your son likes bittergourd! Most children don't like bittergourd. I remember how I used to hate it when I was a kid because of the bitter taste. No, I have not tried 冰镇苦瓜.You have to tell me how. The other bittergourd dish I cook is Beef fried with bittergourd. 牛肉炒凉瓜- cantonese style.

Zurin said...

This is interesting...i hv never used salted egg to cook veggies wiht. Im nt a fan of bittergourd but m hub loves it...must try this dish.

btw I love blue n green! :)

WendyinKK said...

Try using butter and only the salted egg yolk.
Maybe you toss in the whites later on, if you don't want to waste it.

Usually salted duck egg dishes only uses the yolk and they are always sauteed with butter (retaurants use margarine) to bring out the fragrance.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Oh, you are right, Wendy. Butter does go well with salted egg yolk but...I will have to cycle 20km after eating a plate of this then...

Trissa said...

Hi Shirley! Thanks for sharing your recipe - I have never been to Taiwan and not familiar with the cuisine - but I do love the addition of the salted duck egg. In fact, I bought of them today and I was going to use 2 for a dessert but need a recipe for the rest of them.

Anonymous said...

i always eat bittergourd with fish on rice. right now, you have this right up my alley. yum!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

This is best to eat with a bowl of porridge!

petite nyonya said...

i love bitter gourd. we have this dish in some of the local chinese restaurants in kl. very yummy indeed!

Anonymous said...

Haven't had this dish for the longest time because hubby and daughter don't like the taste of bittergourd. You post brings back memories.

Pei-Lin said...

Never tried stir-frying bitter gourd with salted duck eggs! I'd seen people stir-fry pumpkin with salted duck eggs though ... on a Singaporean cooking show I think. Will try this! Thank you!

Carolyn Jung said...

Would you believe that bitter melon is one of the few things in life I don't like to eat? My entire family grew up eating it and loving it -- just not me. Oooh, that strong quinine taste just makes me purse my lips and squint my eyes. The salted duck egg, though, I'm all for. ;)

Happy Homebaker said...

My elder child fell in love with bittergourd the first time he tried it when he was still in kindergarten ;)


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