Tempeh & Bitter Gourd Chili Stir-fry


I love bitter gourd. I love tempe. I love chili. A combination of three things I love in a plate, perfect!

Bitter gourd, as the name implies, is bitter. There are certain preparations one can do to reduce the bitterness, the method I’m familiar with is by rubbing salt on it and squeezing it’s juice out. But that takes out it’s nutrients, no? What I do is I eat a thin slice of the bitter gourd, raw (yes, raw) – to determine it’s bitterness level. If it’s not that bitter I just cook it as it is. If it is very bitter then I prep it with the salt & squeeze method.

In the ingredients there’s a “Bumbu Inti Kokita A” – bumbu inti means essential seasoning. The brand Kokita created four types of seasoning often used in Indonesian cooking: A – for dishes that uses chili, B – for dishes with turmeric, C – for dishes with candle nut, and D – for dishes with garlic. It is practical to have them around for cooking. Check out the website for more information.


  • Oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves, sliced thin
  • Onions – 1/4, diced
  • Chili – depends on how spicy you want it (I used 2 chilies)
  • Bumbu Inti Kokita A – 2 tablespoon
  • Tempe – sliced thin, about 1/2 cup
  • Bitter gourd – sliced thin, about 1 cup
  • Salt & pepper

To cook:

  1. Place half of oil on pan, lightly fry the tempeh, set aside
  2. Add the rest of oil to the pan, saute onions & garlic until fragrant
  3. Add Bumbu Inti Kokita A
  4. Add the chopped chilis
  5. Add fried tempeh back
  6. Add bitter gourd
  7. If its too dry, add a little amount of water
  8. Cover and let it cook until bitter gourd softens
  9. Season as necessary
  10. Serve with hot fluffy rice!


Kimchi & Bitter Gourd Fried Rice

I happen to have kimchi and bitter gourd in my fridge. I googled for kimchi & bitter gourd recipes but couldn’t find any, found how to make bitter gourd kimchi instead (basically pickled bitter gourd). Inspired by this kimchi fried rice recipe, I made up my own kimchi & bitter gourd fried rice.


  • oil, about 1-2 tablespoon
  • garlic, 2-3 cloves
  • chili, 1
  • baby corn, 1
  • bitter gourd, 1/3 of a medium size
  • kimchi, a handful. Don’t throw away the liquid
  • one day old rice, 1 bowl
  • salt, pepper, soy sauce, or other flavoring of your choice
  • egg (optional; omit for vegan version)

(I only cooked a plate for myself and eyeballing the amount. Adjust as necessary)

  1. Heat wok, add oil
  2. Chop/press/whizz garlic & chili. Add to the hot oil
  3. Slice baby corn & bitter gourd thinly. After the garlic become fragrant, add them to the wok, toss around
  4. Add kimchi liquid to the wok, toss around
  5. Slice kimchi thinly, add them to the wok, toss around
  6. Add seasoning
  7. When the bitter gourd is soft, add rice, mix well until rice is coated with kimchi liquid
  8. Make space on the wok. Crack egg. Scramble with rice
  9. Serve hot!

This fried rice turned out great! The taste is spicy, a bit sour from kimchi, and just a hint of bitterness from the bitter gourd. I think other vegetables will work too, like carrot or bell pepper.

I didn’t take any picture this time. I’ll try to remember to take picture in my next kitchen adventures.