Braised Chicken With Bitter Gourd 苦瓜焖鸡

by Angie Liew
Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd
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Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd

A Flavourful Classic Braised Chicken Dish: Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd 苦瓜焖鸡

Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd is a classic home-cooked dish that most Asian Chinese households and chinese restaurants are familiar with. It’s a very tasty dish with a hint of bitter notes from the bitter gourd and the sweetness of the tender chicken,  as well as the savoury fermented yellow bean paste and black beans. Anyone who do not favour bitter gourd will surely start to love this humble gourd once they are introduced to this flavourful dish.    

Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd

The Star of This Dish: Bitter Gourd, Paired with Rich Savoury Bean Sauce

The star of this dish is of course, bitter gourd which is also known as bitter melon (Peria, 苦瓜). One will either love or dislike eating it totally. But once you have acquire the taste or rather the bitter taste, you will just love anything that is cooked with bitter gourd.

An important point to note when cooking this dish is to tone down the bitter flavour of bitter gourd. It is actually surprisingly easy to do so, you can also use this method for other bitter gourd dishes as well. Once the excess bitterness is done away with, braising fried chicken with it is really a breeze. The light braising process together with the rich savoury bean sauce do help to further tone down the bitter flavour making the taste just right.

Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd

A Simple Dish but Full of Flavour and Comforting

Braised Chicken With Bitter Gourd is such a simple dish and all so delicious. The complex flavour of bitter gourd combining with chicken and the bean paste seasonings makes the braised gravy so savoury and make each mouthful so flavourful. This is so delicious especially when eaten with a bowl of steaming hot rice.

Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd

As always, Enjoy!

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Braised Chicken With Bitter Gourd 苦瓜焖鸡

Recipe by Huang Kitchen, Angie Liew
Braised Chicken with Bitter Gourd is a classic home-cooked dish that most Asian Chinese households and chinese restaurants are familiar with. A tasty dish with hint of bitter notes from the bitter gourd and sweetness of the tender chicken, as well as the savoury fermented yellow bean paste and black beans. Anyone who do not favour bitter gourd will surely start to love this humble gourd once they are introduced to this flavourful dish. Enjoy!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese, Malaysian
Keyword: chinese stir fry
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams chicken (2 whole legs), skin removed, cut into bite size pieces,
  • 300 grams bitter gourd, cut into bite size
  • 1 inch ginger, slice into thin pieces.
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fermented bean paste (taucho), minced
  • 1 tsp fermented black bean, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp cornflour , add 1 tbsp water for thickening

Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Seasonings:

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 cup water

    Instructions

    Preparing Ingredients:

    • Ingredients to cook the dish.
      Have ready the ingredients needed to cook the dish.
    • Cut chicken into bite size.
      First cut chicken whole legs into bite size pieces.
    • Ingredients to marinade chicken
      Have ready ingredients to marinade the chicken pieces.
    • Marinade chicken for at least 30 minutes.
      Mix well and set aside the chicken pieces to marinade for at least an hour.
    • Cut bitter gourd into lengthwise.
      Next, cut the bitter gourd in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
    • Cut bitter gourd into pieces.
      Cut each half crosswise into about 3 inch in length. Then cut each piece lengthwise into strips of about 3/4 inch in width.
    • Rub cut bitter gourd with salt.
      Rub the cut bitter gourd with 1/2 tsp salt.
    • Blanch bitter gourd.
      Bring a pan of water to a boil. Blanch the bitter gourd for about 1 minute.
    • Rinse in cold water.
      Drain and rinse bitter gourd in cold water and set aside.
    • Mince garlic.
      Mince some cloves of garlic.
    • Cut ginger into slices.
      Next, cut skinned ginger into thin slices.
    • Rinse fermented black bean
      Then rinse fermented black bean,drain and set aside. And we're ready to cook the dish.

    Cooking Chicken With Bitter Gourd:

    • Saute garlic and ginger till fragrant.
      Heat up 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a wok. Saute half the minced garlic and sliced ginger until fragrant.
    • Fry chicken till half cooked.
      Then add the marinated chicken. Stir fry for about 3 minutes on medium high heat or until chicken is half done. (Chicken begins to shrink and firm up). Dish the chicken out and set aside.
    • Reheat wok and add a little more oil. When oil is hot, add in the remaining minced garlic and sliced ginger. Stir fry until aromatic and lightly browned.
    • Saute fermented bean and black bean paste
      Then add the fermented bean paste and fermented black bean. Stir to mix well.
    • Saute bitter gourd and chicken
      Add in bitter gourd and saute, followed by the half cooked chicken pieces. Stir fry and mix well together.
    • Seasonings for the dish
      Have ready the seasonings for the dish.
    • Mix seasonings in a bowl
      Mix all the seasonings in a bowl.
    • Add seasonings and bring to a boil.
      Pour in the seasoning and stir well. Bring the garvy mixture to a boil.
    • Cover and simmer till cooked.
      Then cover, turn the heat to medium low and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
    • Add cornstarch and cooked till sauce thickened.
      When chicken is cooked, add in cornstarch solution. Toss the chicken and the bitter gourd until sauce thickens.
    • Serve with steaming white rice.
      Dish out and serve hot with steamed white rice and Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

Its best to use chicken with bone for this dish as the bone releases extra flavour while braising with the bitter gourd. Nevertheless you can opt for chicken breast meat (boneless meat) if you prefer.
It is important to marinade the chicken pieces before braising to ensure the chicken meat is well seasoned before cooking. Also, leave in refrigerator to retain freshness.
It is advisable to remove the seeds and pith completely from the bitter gourd after cutting into two parts as these seeds and pith are more bitter than the flesh of bitter gourd.
You can either pan fry or even deep fry the chicken pieces before braising as this helps to enhance the flavour of the chicken.
When buying bitter gourd:
do not choose gourd that is turning yellow as these are already ripe and will be too soft.
Skin of bitter gourd should be free of blemish and firm to touch.
Apparently the wider the space between the ridges on the bitter gourd, the less bitter it is.

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