The researching of this recipe was inspired by the upcoming Nice Gourd Festival.

  • Yields: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 30 mins

Ingredients (14)

  • – 1/2 chicken, cut to pieces (you can also use chicken thighs and other cuts)
  • – half bitter gourd/bitter melon (about 300-400g)
  • – 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • – 1 tbsp tau cheo (soya bean paste)
  • – 1/2 tbsp black fermented beans (rinsed, patted dry and mashed slightly with a fork)
  • – 5 garlic cloves, peeled & bruised
  • – 5 slices ginger
  • – salt
  • – 1 tbsp Chinese wine (shao hsing/hua tiao)
  • – light soy sauce, to taste (optional)
  • Sauce
  • – 1 cup water
  • – 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • – 1 tsp sugar


  1. Cut the bitter gourd in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrap out the seeds and white pulp. Rub some salt on the flesh portion and leave for a few minutes before rinsing the salt off. This will remove some of the bitterness (skip this step if you like it bitter). Slice the bitter gourd in half lengthwise again, then cut it to 2.5cm (1 inch) vertical slices.
  2. Heat sesame oil in clay pot, stir fry tau cheo & fermented black beans until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken pieces, bitter gourd, garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink on the surface.
  4. Season to taste with light soy sauce or salt, if needed. If you like, add a splash of Chinese wine to the cooked stew as a finishing touch, and off the flame when you smell the lovely aroma of the wine.