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Stir fry bitter melon with tofu is a traditional Asian recipe and commonly cooked in households and paired with rice. Adding a twist to the recipe, this is a veganized version with the use of tofu and turmeric.

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If you are looking for more tofu recipes check this Sweet and Sour Tofu or Vegan Arroz a la Cubana Recipe.

WHY YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

If you are new to Asian and plant-based cooking this recipe is perfect for you to try:

  • Healthy
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Takes less than 30 minutes to prepare

ORIGIN OF RECIPE

Stir fry bitter melon is a recipe I grew up with, my grandfather cooks it and despite the name bitter, he cooks it without any bitterness. 

His not so secret is gently massaging the bitter melon with salt and then washing it prior to cooking.

While it has other names, bitter gourd or bitter melon or bitter cucumber they are all still the same there are only slight variations in its appearance and it comes in different sizes.

I prefer cooking small bitter melons only because it’s enough for me to consume for 2-3 days unless you have a bigger household you can opt for the regular size bitter melon.

STIR FRY BITTER MELON WITH TOFU

rice with stir fry bitter melon

INGREDIENTS

Bitter Melon –   one pack of bitter melon, washing and cutting in the middle, removing seeds before slicing evenly.

Tomatoes – the Filipino version of bitter melon or ginisang Ampalaya usually has tomatoes sauteed until it softens.

Onion – white onion is what I used in this recipe.

Garlic   –  chopped 3 – 5 cloves of garlic or more if you prefer.

Turmeric – this will give color to your tofu to make our vegan egg (optional). This does not affect the whole taste of the stir fry recipe.

Firm Tofu  – the highlight of our bitter melon recipe and acts as our vegan egg.

Water – adding just about a half cup to simmer the bitter melon.

Salt and Pepper – to add taste.

Cooking Oil – use high-grade oil to saute all the ingredients.

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash all ingredients and cut each. For tomatoes, I like removing the seeds after cutting. While for onion and garlic remove the skin and chop.

For the bitter melon cut in half, remove seeds in the middle part and slice. Be sure to massage the bitter melon with salt, rest for a minute and wash.

tomato & bitter melon
chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes and bitter melon

Cook tofu as you would fry them and add turmeric and a pinch of salt. After cooking set aside.

Add tomatoes and onion and fry once the onion is translucent and the tomatoes’ skin started to separate then add garlic. Stir fry for another 2 minutes. 

Add the bitter melon and water and let it simmer for a few minutes until the vegetable is a little soft but not soggy. Add salt and pepper to taste and some chilli flakes or fresh red chilli. 

Adjust the taste according to your preference and add the tofu again.

Serve and enjoy with a cup of rice.

RECIPE NOTES

Aside from tofu you can also Just Egg.

The taste will vary according to your preference. I use a little amount of salt in all my cooking.

Cook on low medium fire once the water is added to make sure the bitter melon won’t turn soggy and do not leave it when cooking.

Leftovers must be kept in the fridge.

NUTRITION DETAILS 

This stir fry bitter melon has approximately 213 calories per serving. Total Fat 13.8g | Saturated Fat 1.6g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 418mg | Total Carbohydrate 15.2g | Dietary Fiber 3.9g | Total Sugars 4.4g | Protein 10.7g | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 249mg | Iron 3mg | Potassium 426mg.

Nutrition calculation is based on using an online calculator (verywellfit) and for reference use only. 

RELATED RECIPES 

STIR FRY BOK CHOY RECIPE

CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE RECIPE

VEGETABLE SPRING ROLLS

STIR FRY VEGGIES

GOBI MANCHURIAN RECIPE

stir fry bitter melon with tofu and rice

Stir Fry Bitter Melon with Turmeric Tofu

Jeannie
Stir fry bitter melon with tofu is a veganized Asian recipe. It's healthy, budget-friendly and delicious recipe.
5 from 22 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino
Servings 3
Calories 213 kcal

Equipment

  • Cooking Pan
  • knife
  • chopping board

Ingredients Needed
  

  • 300 g firm tofu
  • 3 small Bitter Melon
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • Salt and ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • Wash all igredients and set aside.
  • Cut bitter melon into half, remove the seeds, slice evenly or thinly for quick cooking. Place in a bowl and add a tablespoon of salt.
  • Gently massage making sure all bitter melon are covered with salt, you can let the salt stay for 1-2 minutes or wash right away and set aside.
  • Cut tomatoes, remove seed and set aside. Peel onion and garlic, chop and set aside.
  • Prepare tofu as you would normally do, removing excess water and cut into cubes or crumble.
  • Add oil in pan and stir fry tofu until a little brown and add a teaspoon of turmeric and some salt to taste. Once done, remove and set aside.
  • Add tomatoes and onion, stir fry until onion is translucent and tomato skin have separated.
  • Add garlic and stir fry until a little brown.
  • Add bitter melon and saute.
  • Add water and let it it simmer until bitter melon has soften.
  • Add the cooked tofu, add pepper and salt to taste.
  • Add chili flakes or fresh chili for some spice.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • Aside from tofu you can also Just Egg.
  • The taste will vary according to your preference. I use a little amount of salt in all my cooking.
  • Cook on low medium fire once the water is added to make sure the bitter melon won’t turn soggy and do not leave it when cooking.
  • Leftovers must be kept in the fridge.

NUTRITION DETAILS

This stir fry bitter melon has approximately 213 calories per serving. Total Fat 13.8g | Saturated Fat 1.6g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 418mg | Total Carbohydrate 15.2g | Dietary Fiber 3.9g | Total Sugars 4.4g | Protein 10.7g | Vitamin D 0mcg | Calcium 249mg | Iron 3mg | Potassium 426mg.
Nutrition calculation is based on using an online calculator (verywellfit) and for reference use only. 
 
 
call out
 
 
Keyword bitter melon, stir fry, Vegan

If you tried the recipe please comment below and let me know your thoughts, it will help me a lot to create easy vegan recipes.

BENEFITS OF BITTER MELON

Bitter Melon is a low carb and nutritious vegetable rich in vitamin C. and A. It also has folate which is important for growth and development.

Source: Healthline

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27 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m always on the lookout for a stir fry recipe, and love that this includes tofu and a new ingredient for my family, bitter melon. Delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Can’t wait to try this stir fry bitter melon with tofu.:) I hope if I cook it, it’s not bitter.:) Thanks for sharing your recipe, I will make it tomorrow.

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