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Stir-fry bitter melon beef in oyster sauce

Soil conservationist and radio host Sam Vang calls this his favorite Hmong dish. "The bitterness and crunchy texture of the bitter melon, combined with the flavor of soy and oyster sauces melting in your mouth, makes the dish incredibly tasty."

Sam Vang
USDA soil conservationist, Fresno

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1 (1/4-lb.) can chopped lean beef
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. oyster sauce
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 medium-sized bitter melon
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. fish sauce
3 green Thai chili peppers, cut in half
1 tsp. diced fresh ginger


Combine beef, soy sauce, oyster sauce and garlic in a bowl; set aside. Cut bitter melon in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, then slice the halves into medium slices about 1 1/2 inches long.

Prepare a wok with olive oil and butter. Pour marinated beef into wok, then add fish sauce. Cook for about 2 minutes and set aside in a bowl.

Pour bitter melon, green Thai chili and ginger into wok and cook for about 3 minutes. Return cooked beef to wok. Stir and serve.

Note: This is Vang's personal recipe. Visit for more Hmong recipes.

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