Pork, Bitter Melon and Okra Recipe


Inspiration for this recipe comes from this Pork, Bitter Melon and Okra Stew (pinakbet). I had to make a few adjustments for low-carb, onions and availability of ingredients:

  • substitute turnip for pumpkin
  • substitute daikon radish for onion
  • substitute Fish Sauce for Bagoong Sauce
  • substitute pork fillet for pork belly

If you don't like pork, lamb would work well too.

If you don't have a pressure cooker, then simmer stew for 15 minutes rather than 5.


  • 1 Bitter Melon - see prep
  • 2 tbsp oil or fat
  • 400g pork
  • 1/4 of large Daikon Radish
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 cm piece of ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 200g of okra - see prep
  • 2 Turnips, peeled and large diced
  • 3/4 cup of stock
  • 2 tomatoes or 4 Roma tomatoes cut into wedges

Prepare Bitter Melon - Optional

  1. Cut each bitter melon in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Scrape all the white parts clean, because the white parts cause the bitterness. Then slice the melon on a 45-degree angle into thin slices.
  2. Prepare an ice bath and set aside.
  3. Boil a pot of water, and stir in 1 tablespoon each of salt and bicarb soda. Blanch the bitter melon for 1 minute, and use a slotted spoon to immediately transfer the bitter melon to the ice bath. Drain and set aside.

Prepare Okra - Optional

If more than 200g, separate and save for another dish

  1. Using a small sharp knife, make a few small incisions in each okra.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium–high heat.
  3. Add the olive oil, fry the okra until softened, then remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

Prepare Pork and Combine

  1. In pressure cooker or large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat
  2. Add pork and stir for 3 mins or until golden
  3. Add the radish and ginger to the pan and fry until lightly browned and fragrant.
  4. Stir in Fish Sauce, garlic, bitter melon, turnips, okra and stock
  5. Cook for 5 mins on high pressure than rapid release. Check veges are tender. Alternatively, cover and simmer for 15 mins.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes
  7. Season with salt and pepper
  8. Return to heat and stir for 3 mins until tomatoes soften

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This work by Rod Sherwin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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