Following my previous post on Stir Fry Veg with Roast Pork, I found a recipe by Amy of Cooking Crave - Stir Fried Bittergourd with Roast Pork and the interesting part was the use of Chilli/Spicy Bean Sauce. Prior to this, I have never thought of using Spicy Bean Sauce in my stir fry dishes but after this, I'm totally
obsessed addicted! The chilli bean sauce can enhance the flavour of the dish and whet the appetite due to the spiciness and saltiness; you'll certainly ask for more rice to go along with the dish!
The bitterness of the bittergourd was complimented by the spicy and salty bean sauce. I'm not really a fan of bittergourd but with this dish, I would say I'm addicted!
In fact, it was so good that I tried 2 other veg with roast pork to go along with the bean sauce.
The next veg I tried was leeks. Leeks are in season now, so I thought it would be a good idea to try and true enough, it was good as well! People who don't like the pungent smell of leeks would probably shun this but the spicy bean sauce sort of mellowed the taste and added a unique flavour to the dish.
The third veg I tried was my favourite veg, celery. I LOVE celery! Some people hate the smell and taste but I just love it =D Needless to say, celery went well with the spicy bean sauce as well.
So I would say I'm really happy with my new found condiment, the chilli bean sauce! There are a number of brands available in supermarket and this brand is highly recommended by my mum.
And here is the recipe, taken with reference from Cooking Crave (big thanks to Amy for sharing the recipe), slightly adjusted to my personal preference.
Stir Fry Bitter Gourd or Leeks or Celery With Roasted Pork in Spicy Bean Sauce (serves 1-2 pax)
1/2 bitter gourd or 1-2 stalks of leeks or 5-6 stalks of celery
1/2 small carrot
150 - 200 g roasted pork
1 - 1.5 tbsp spicy bean paste (depends on how spicy and salty you like it to be)
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
1-2 tsp oil (for stir-frying)
Some water, about 50ml to 100ml
1a) Cut the bitter gourd into half, use spoon to remove the seed. Slice into 1/2cm thick (I bought ready sliced ones that come with carrots from Sheng Siong Supermarket and use half a packet). To reduce bitterness of the bitter gourd, place the sliced bitter gourd into a bowl and sprinkle some salt on it, make sure all the bitter gourd are well coated with salt. Leave for 15-30mins before rinsing with water.
1b) For leeks, remove root portion and slice diagonally into 2cm pieces.
1c) For celery, slightly peel/remove the harder fibre and slice diagonally into 1cm pieces.
2) Slice the roast pork into bite size pieces. Slice the carrots into thin pieces.
3) Heat the oil in the wok and stir in the smashed garlic until slightly brown and fragrant. Add the roast pork and stir fry for a few minutes until slightly brown. Add the spicy bean paste. Continue to cook till aromatic and a little bit dry (lower the fire at this time).
4) Add the bitter gourd/leeks/celery and continue to stir fry for a few minutes, let the veg coat with bean paste. Pour in some water and let it simmer in low fire for 5-10 mins depends whether you like the veg to be softer or more crunchy. Personally I prefer my bittergourd to be soft, leeks medium and celery still crunchy.
5) Taste the dish and adjust taste by adding some salt and sugar. I find the bean sauce saltish enough so did not add any other seasonings. Sugar is also not necessary for me as the bean sauce has sugar in it already.
6) Serve hot, perfect with a bowl of rice!