Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 4 mins

Total: 14 mins

Servings: 3 to 4 servings

Bitter melon tastes, just as the name suggests, bitter. Pairing it with a salty, sweet, and spicy sauce of garlic, chile, soy sauce, rice wine, and a pinch of sugar helps to tame and balance out the bitterness. Dried shrimp add a burst of umami flavor and nice texture. You’ll find dried shrimp in Asian markets; it can also be ordered online.

Bitter melon is commonly used in Chinese, Indian, and Southeast Asian cooking. Depending on how it is prepared, it can be soft or crisp. This recipe leaves the vegetable crisp-tender for a delicious side dish that goes well with a range of dishes. Serve stir-fried bitter melon with your favorite main dish like beef chow fun, chicken chop suey, or five spice-baked tofu.


  • 2 small-sized green bitter melons, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons oil , for stir-frying

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 seeded and finely-chopped chile

  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, softened in water and drained

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 1/2 tablespoon demerara sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

  2. Cut the ends off the bitter melon and cut in half lengthwise (do not peel). 

    Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

  3. Remove the seeds and pith from the middle of the melon with a small spoon. 

    Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

  4. Cut the melon diagonally into 1/4-inch slices.

    Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

  5. Heat up oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Stir fry garlic and chile until the fragrance releases.

    Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

  6. Add the dried shrimp and stir-fry for 10 seconds.

    Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

  7. Add bitter melon and 1 tablespoon water. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.

    Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

  8. Add the soy sauce, sugar, salt, and rice wine and stir-fry for 1 minute.

    Bitter Melon Stir Fry With Dried Shrimp

  9. Serve hot and enjoy!


  • There are two main varieties of bitter melon. Chinese bitter melon is green while Taiwanese bitter melon is white and tends to be softer in texture and more bitter in flavor.
  • Bitter melon skin is edible, so don’t worry about peeling it before cooking.
  • When shopping for bitter melon, look for veggies that are vibrant in color without soft or dark spots.
  • When stir-frying it’s best to keep the food moving as you cook since the pan is very hot. This will help the food cook evenly.
  • If you don’t have a wok cook this dish in a large, tall skillet. Avoid non-stick since it doesn’t hold up well over high heat.

Recipe Variations

  • This recipe can technically be made without the dried shrimp, however, it won’t have the same flavor.
  • If you don’t have dried shrimp, try making a simple bitter melon stir-fry or pair the vegetable with pork for a main dish.
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 136
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 565mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 63mg 315%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 353mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


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