Claypot Chicken with Bitter Gourd

This is my mother’s recipe. I’ve never acquired the taste for bitter gourd all these years though I know it is packed with nutrients and goodness. I am informed that this dish – Chicken with Bitter Gourd is a favourite amongst many who like bitter gourd. I am also informed that the bigger and older the bitter gourd, the less bitter it is.

So, I thought why not I post it up here on this blog for those who like to eat chicken with bitter gourd but do not know how to cook it. My mum used the claypot to retain the warmth of the dish as well as to ensure that the chicken and bitter gourd continue to simmer slowly though it has been removed from the cooker. If you don’t have a claypot, it doesn’t really matter. Just serve it on a plate.

This is my mother’s recipe for Claypot Chicken with Bitter Gourd.


  • 1 large bitter gourd (wash, remove seeds, cut halved across the bitter gourd and then, cut to chunk bite sizes)
  • 2 whole chicken legs (remove skin and cut to chunky bite sizes. You can keep the skin if you don’t mind the dish slightly oily)
  • 5 pieces dried chinese mushrooms (pre-soaked till soft and cut to two with stems discarded)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tau cheo
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (preferably palm oil)
  • 1 cup warm water


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark soya sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • a pinch of sugar


Heat oil in wok and stir-fry garlic and tau cheo for 30 seconds. Add chinese mushrooms, chicken and bitter gourd and continue stir-frying till outer layer of chicken meat is cooked.

Add seasoning and water enough to cover the ingredients. Bring to boil. Meanwhile, if you have a claypot, heat it up whilst waiting for the gravy to boil in the wok.

Once the gravy is boiling, transfer contents into claypot and simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat till gravy reduced to your liking. If you do not have a claypot, simmer likewise.

Serve hot with white rice.

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  1. 1
    April 19th, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Do you think I can use salted/fermented black beans instead of tau cheo? I don’t have tau cheo … unless you cook more stuff with tau cheo then I will buy a bottle, otherwise I dunno what I can use with it.

  2. 2
    April 19th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    simcooks : My mum just did a salted/fermented black beans variant two nights ago. It works and tastes as good. As for tau cheo, I have a recipe for fried beehoon with taucheo and chilli paste which tastes absolutely delicious but I’ve not cooked it for a long time liao. Must do it one day. For the sake of this blog! LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 3
    April 25th, 2007 at 5:53 am

    Ok… I will look out for your recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 4
    September 26th, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Hi Pablo,
    I am a big fan of this dish and anything bitter gourd related. I can vouch that this dish is really nice and there is actually no bitter taste in it.

    Yes you can either use the tau cheo or fermented black beans variant. Better still…combine them both ๐Ÿ™‚ Just as tasty!!

  5. 5
    September 27th, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    yich : I STILL haven’t cooked that yet ๐Ÿ™

    BN : Hehe! I’ll still give it a pass. I think I have bittergourdophobia! ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. 6
    November 8th, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Pablo, I usually cooked with black bean sauce, this is my first time using Tou Cheo as stated in your recipe, it turned out really well, thanks!

  7. 7
    Sarah Jessica Leong
    November 15th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Dear Pablo, Yum, yum, love this recipe – have always loved bittergourd, the more bitterer the betterer!!!! Keep up the good work and more recipes coming, dear!

  8. 8
    Su Yee
    March 20th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Hey, I tried this and it’s yummy! So said my parents too…LOL! Would you have the recipe for bittergourd and eggs in a nice gravy?? I can’t seem to perfect the taste…great job on the recipes!

  9. 9
    March 22nd, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Yup it does have a slight bitter taste to it but I love this dish. It is so delicious and this brings back fond memories when I used to frequent the hawker stalls that sells ‘chap farn’ in KL where this dish is very common. Now I cant find any authentic bittergourd dish here in Australia ๐Ÿ™


  1. Stir Fried Bitter Gourd with Salted Egg | Delicious Asian Food
  2. Claypot Chicken with Bittergourd Recipe | Noob Cook Recipes

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