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Bitter Gourd Chicken Recipe Chinese: Relishing a Healthful and Delicious Plate

Bitter gourd chicken is a timeless Chinese dish in which you can incorporate more vegetables into your diet while still enjoying a delicious and satisfying meal. Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon, is a unique vegetable with a distinct flavour that pairs well with chicken and other meats.

A wok sizzles as bitter gourd and chicken stir-fry in a fragrant Chinese sauce. Greens and spices surround the bubbling dish

To make bitter gourd chicken, you'll need a few key ingredients, including chicken (either whole legs or bite-size pieces), bitter gourd, ginger, garlic, and fermented bean paste. You can also add other vegetables or seasonings to suit your taste preferences. The preparation and cooking process is relatively straightforward, making this recipe a great option for beginner cooks or anyone looking for a quick and easy meal.

Overall, bitter gourd chicken is a tasty and nutritious dish that's popular in Chinese cuisine. Whether you're a fan of bitter gourd or just looking to try something new, this recipe is definitely worth a try. So why not grab some ingredients and give it a go yourself?

Key Takeaways

  • Bitter gourd chicken is a classic Chinese dish that's easy to make and packed with flavour.
  • The key ingredients for this recipe include chicken, bitter gourd, ginger, garlic, and fermented bean paste.
  • You can customize the recipe to suit your taste preferences and even add seafood for an extra twist.

Bitter Gourd Chicken Recipe Overview

A wok sizzles with diced chicken and bitter gourd, surrounded by garlic, ginger, and soy sauce

If you're looking for a new and exciting chicken recipe to add to your repertoire, then you might want to try making bitter gourd chicken. This dish is a classic home-cooked dish that is hugely popular among Chinese households. It is a tasty dish that has 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.

Cultural Significance

Bitter gourd chicken is a dish that is commonly found in Chinese households. It is a dish that is loved by many and is often served at family gatherings and special occasions. The dish is also popular in Chinese restaurants, where it is often served as a main course.

Expected Taste and Texture

The bitter gourd in this dish adds a unique flavour to the chicken, giving it a slightly bitter taste. However, this is balanced out by the sweetness of the chicken and the savoury flavour of the fermented yellow bean paste and black beans. The texture of the dish is also interesting, with the tender chicken and slightly crunchy bitter gourd providing a nice contrast.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could also try adding some seafood to this dish. Shrimp or prawns would be a great addition to this recipe, as they would add a slightly sweet and briny flavour to the dish. Alternatively, you could try adding some scallops or squid for a more seafood-focused flavour.

Ingredients and Substitutes

Bitter gourd, chicken, and Chinese ingredients laid out on a wooden cutting board. Various substitute options displayed next to each ingredient

Main Ingredients

To make a delicious bitter gourd chicken, you will need the following ingredients: chicken, bitter gourd, ginger, garlic, fermented black bean, and yellow bean paste. Chicken is the main protein in this recipe, and you can use any part of the chicken that you prefer. Bitter gourd, on the other hand, is the star of this dish, and it adds a unique bitter taste to the recipe. Ginger and garlic are used as aromatics to add flavour to the dish. Fermented black bean and yellow bean paste are used to add umami flavour to the dish.

Sauces and Seasonings

To add more flavour to the dish, you will need to use sauces and seasonings such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, and dark soy sauce. Soy sauce is used to add saltiness to the dish, while oyster sauce is used to add sweetness and umami flavour. Shaoxing wine is used to add depth of flavour to the dish. Sesame oil is used to add nuttiness to the dish, and dark soy sauce is used to add colour to the dish.

Possible Substitutes

If you cannot find bitter gourd, you can substitute it with other vegetables such as zucchini or cucumber. You can also add seafood to the dish to make it more flavourful. You can use shrimp or squid as a substitute for chicken. Garlic, ginger, and soy sauce are essential ingredients in this recipe, and cannot be substituted. However, if you cannot find fermented black bean, you can use black beans instead. If you do not have Shaoxing wine, you can substitute it with dry sherry. Cornstarch can be used as a substitute for yellow bean paste. White pepper can be used instead of black pepper. Vegetable oil can be used instead of sesame oil.

Remember, the key to making a delicious bitter gourd chicken is to use fresh ingredients and to balance the flavours properly. With these ingredients and substitutes, you can create a delicious and healthy meal that your family will love.

Preparation Before Cooking

A cutting board with sliced bitter gourd, marinated chicken, soy sauce, and spices laid out on a clean kitchen counter

Before you start cooking the bitter gourd chicken recipe, you need to prepare some ingredients and marinate the chicken. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Marinating the Chicken

To prepare the chicken for the recipe, you need to marinate it for at least 30 minutes before cooking. You can use a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, corn starch, and salt to marinate the chicken. You can also add some seafood into the marinade, such as prawns or squid, to give it a seafood flavour.

Preparing Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd is an essential ingredient for this recipe. You need to cut the bitter gourd into bite-size pieces and remove the seeds before cooking. To reduce the bitterness of the bitter gourd, you can soak it in salted water for 10 minutes before cooking.

Sauce and Gravy Prep

To prepare the sauce and gravy for the recipe, you need to mix fermented bean paste, garlic, ginger, and yellow bean paste in a bowl. You can also add some seafood, such as scallops or clams, to the sauce to enhance the flavour. In a separate bowl, mix corn starch and water to make a slurry that you will use to thicken the gravy.

Overall, the preparation before cooking for the bitter gourd chicken recipe is simple and straightforward. With the right ingredients and marination, you can make a delicious and flavourful dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Cooking Process

Bitter gourd and chicken stir-frying in a wok with Chinese spices and sauces

Stir-Frying Techniques

To start off, heat up your wok on high heat and add some oil. Once it's hot, add in your chicken pieces and stir-fry them until they are tender and fragrant. You can add some salt and pepper to taste at this point.

Next, add in your bitter gourd and continue to stir-fry for a few more minutes until the gourd is slightly softened. You can also add in some seafood such as prawns or squid for a different flavour.

Braising the Chicken and Gourd

After stir-frying, add in your gravy mixture which should consist of fermented bean paste, fermented black bean, and garlic. You can also add in some light soy sauce and sugar to taste.

Then, add in some water and let it simmer for a few minutes. Reduce the heat to low and start the light braising process. Cover the wok with a lid and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the gourd is tender.

Final Touches and Plating

Once the chicken and gourd are cooked, remove the lid and let the gravy thicken for a few more minutes. You can add in some cornstarch mixed with water to thicken the gravy further.

Finally, plate your braised chicken with bitter gourd and garnish with some sliced scallions. Serve hot with steamed rice.

This recipe is a great way to enjoy bitter gourd in a savoury and delicious way. It's a perfect dish for those who love Chinese cuisine and want to try something new.

Serving and Pairing

A chef prepares bitter gourd chicken in a traditional Chinese kitchen, surrounded by various ingredients and cooking utensils

Accompaniments

Braised bitter gourd with chicken is a delicious and flavourful dish that pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. Steamed rice is the perfect choice to serve with this dish, as the rice soaks up the delicious flavours of the braised chicken and bitter gourd. The steaming hot rice complements the tender chicken and the slightly bitter flavour of the gourd.

If you want to add some variety to your meal, you can also serve this dish with some stir-fried vegetables, such as bok choy or broccoli. The crisp and fresh vegetables provide a nice contrast to the rich and savoury flavours of the braised chicken and bitter gourd.

Wine and Beverage Pairings

When it comes to wine and beverage pairings, you have a few options to consider. For a classic pairing, you can serve this dish with a light and fruity red wine, such as a Pinot Noir or a Beaujolais. The light and fruity flavours of the wine balance out the savoury flavours of the chicken and bitter gourd.

If you prefer white wine, you can opt for a crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay. These wines provide a nice contrast to the rich and savoury flavours of the dish.

For those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, you can serve this dish with some hot tea, such as jasmine or green tea. The light and fragrant flavours of the tea complement the flavours of the braised chicken and bitter gourd.

Proposed seafood suggestion:

If you want to add some seafood to this dish, you can use some fresh prawns or squid. Simply add the seafood to the dish during the last few minutes of cooking to ensure that it is cooked through. The seafood provides a nice contrast to the tender chicken and the slightly bitter flavour of the gourd.

Nutritional Information

A plate of Chinese bitter gourd chicken, with a side of steamed rice and a small dish of soy sauce

Bitter gourd chicken is a nutritious dish that offers a range of health benefits. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional information of the dish:

  • Protein: The chicken used in the recipe is a rich source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.

  • Fiber: Bitter gourd is high in fiber, which helps to regulate digestion and maintain bowel health.

  • Potassium: Bitter gourd is a good source of potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and supporting heart health.

  • Calcium and Iron: Bitter gourd is a good source of calcium and iron, which are important for maintaining strong bones and healthy blood.

  • Low in Fat: Bitter gourd chicken is a low-fat dish, making it a healthy option for those watching their fat intake.

  • Cholesterol and Sodium: The dish is low in cholesterol and sodium, making it a heart-healthy option.

  • Health Benefits: Bitter gourd has been shown to have a range of health benefits, including regulating blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system.

If you are looking to add more variety to your bitter gourd chicken recipe, you could consider adding seafood such as prawns or squid. These seafood options would complement the dish well and add a unique flavour to the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the secret to a scrumptious Chinese-style bitter gourd chicken dish?

The secret to a delicious bitter gourd chicken dish is to balance the bitter taste of the gourd with the sweetness of the chicken. To achieve this balance, marinate the chicken with soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Additionally, use fermented yellow bean paste and black beans to add savoury flavours to the dish.

How can I make my bitter gourd less bitter when frying it?

To make bitter gourd less bitter when frying it, add salt and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off. This will help to remove some of the bitterness. Alternatively, you can blanch the sliced bitter gourd in boiling water for a few minutes before frying it.

Are there any health benefits to eating bitter gourd with chicken?

Yes, there are several health benefits to eating bitter gourd with chicken. Bitter gourd is rich in vitamins and minerals, and it is known to help regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and boost the immune system. Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is low in fat, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

Can bitter gourd be a good dietary choice for managing eczema?

Bitter gourd can be a good dietary choice for managing eczema. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, bitter gourd is known to improve digestion, which can help reduce the risk of developing eczema flare-ups.

What's the best way to prepare bitter gourd chicken soup?

To prepare bitter gourd chicken soup, start by sautéing garlic and ginger in a pot. Add chicken broth, sliced bitter gourd, and diced chicken. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the bitter gourd is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

How do you make claypot chicken with bitter gourd?

To make claypot chicken with bitter gourd, start by marinating diced chicken with soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch for at least 30 minutes. In a claypot, sauté garlic and ginger in oil. Add the marinated chicken, sliced bitter gourd, and black beans. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the bitter gourd is tender. Serve hot with steamed rice.

If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use prawns or scallops. Simply add them to the claypot with the chicken and bitter gourd and cook until they are fully cooked.