Braised Stuffed Bitter Melon

1 T fermented black beans
1/2 lb. ground pork
2 scallions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T soy sauce
2 + 1 T oil
2 t corn starch
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t each salt and pepper
2 bitter melons
1/2 C water

Soak black beans in warm water. In a bowl, mix pork, scallions and garlic. Then add soy sauce, 1 T oil, corn starch, sugar, salt and pepper.

Cut each bitter melon into 1 1/2″ slices. Using a knife, remove the spongy pulp. Stuff each slice with pork mixture. Heat oil in a pan, and brown slices lightly on both sides. Remove from pan.

Add black beans and 1/2 cup water to pan and bring to a boil. Return stuffed bitter melons to pan and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until bitter melon is tender.

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