Bitter Melon Beef

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Despite its nutritional benefits, not a lot of people incorporate bitter melon into their diet, except perhaps for the Chinese, Filipinos and others in Asia.  Sure, it is one of those “acquired tastes,” but there are ways to temper the bitter quality of this vegetable.  I, for one, hated bitter melon when I was growing up!

For this recipe, I simply cooked bitter melon with thinly-sliced beef strips, sautéed them in garlic, onions and tomatoes, added soy sauce, sugar and some spices, and … pineapple.

Of course, the pineapple is optional, but for those who are just now venturing into the taste of bitter melon, it might be a good compromise.

INGREDIENTS

One large bitter melon fruit, seeded and sliced into crescents

1/2 lb, thinly-sliced beef strips, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small onion, sliced

1 small tomato, chopped

1 cup pineapple chunks or tidbits

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 tbsps soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp Olive oil

Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Heat Olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add onions and cook until fragrant.  Add tomatoes and cook for another minute.  Add beef slices and cook until nicely browned. Add bitter melon and sauté until nicely green and tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add water and cook for three minutes. Reduce heat to low and add in soy sauce and sugar. Add in pineapple slices. Let simmer  for another three minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

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