Sometimes recipes come about because I am trying to use up bits and pieces, odds and ends, from the fridge before it is beyond salvaging.
About half a cup of slow-cooked spicy beans and one large bitter melon were ignoring each other in the fridge. So, I decided to bring them together in this dish.
Instead of the beans, can use any leftovers like ground meat or mashed potatoes or even herbed goat cheese and feta.
½ cup slow-cooked flavorful black beans or pinto beans
1 large bitter melon
1 Tablespoon tamarind concentrate (sold as Sour Soup Mix in Asian stores)
1 Tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
salt to taste
2 Tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil or olive oil
Cilantro and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Cut the bitter melon lengthwise in half, scoop out the pulpy innards with seeds, chop into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle some salt and allow to sit on a towel to drain for about 10 minutes
- Pre-heat the oven to 425°F
- Arrange the bitter melon pieces on a greased roasting pan; add a drop each of tamarind concentrate and adobo sauce chipotle; sprinkle some brown sugar and salt
- Bake in the 425°F oven for about 12 minutes
- Remove from heat, add a dollop of the bean-filling on each piece and cook for about another 4 to 5 minutes, turn off the oven
- Top with cheese if preferred and return it to the oven for the cheese to melt (with the oven off, the residual heat is enough to melt the cheese)
- Garnish and serve warm