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Chinese beef and bitter melon stir fry on a white plate with

Beef and Bitter Melon Stir Fry

Beef with bitter melon stir fry is a classic and traditional Chinese cuisine. This beef and bitter melon recipe has simple ingredients and takes around 30 minutes. Let’s learn how to cook bitter melon with beef!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 116kcal
Author Tracy O.


  • 2 Bitter melons (Small-medium sized)
  • 1 pound Beef steak (I used beef top round steak)
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Fermented black beans 
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil (½ tablespoon for stir fry bitter melon and ½ tablespoon for stir fry beef)
  • ¼ cup Water
  • teaspoon Salt (For stir fry bitter melon)

Marinated Beef:

  • ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil


  • Peel and wash 5 cloves of garlic and mince it. 
  • Wash and half 2 small-medium sized bitter melons. Then, remove the seeds from bitter melon using a spoon.
  • Slices bitter melon around ¼ inch thick.
  • Wash and slice 1 pound of beef steak into strips. 
  • Put the beef into a bowl. Then, add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, ½ tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Mix it well. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes before cooking. 
  • Pour ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil into the non-stick pan. Put the sliced bitter melon, add ⅛ teaspoon of salt and ¼ cup of water. 
  • Stir fry bitter melon for 2-3 minutes until it’s soft. Then, set it aside.
  • Next, pour ½ tablespoon of oil into the non-stick pan. Add the minced garlic and stir fry it a little bit. 
  • After that, add the washed fermented black beans and stir fry a little bit. 
  • Put the marinated beef and stir fry with the garlic and fermented black beans. 
  • Until the beef changes color, put back the cooked bitter melon into the pan and stir fry it a little bit. (Remember don’t over cook the beef.)



Cooking tips for how to cook bitter melon with beef:

  • Wash, cut and remove the seed from bitter melon. Then, slice it around ¼ inch thick. Stir fry with oil, salt and water for 2-3 minutes until it’s soft. 
  • Marinate beef with garlic powder, soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce and sesame oil for at least 15 minutes before cooking. 
  • Stir fry garlic and douchi (fermented black beans) first, then add marinated beef. When the beef starts changing color, add the cooked bitter melon and stir fry a little bit. 


Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 607mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1164IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg