Bitter Melon Recipes

Bitter Melon also known as “Bitter Gourd” is a not so common fruit that you may find in some of your CSA bags and ask yourself, what is THAT?! Bitter melon originated in India and was introduced into China in the 14th century. The Chinese variety is long, pale green and covered in wart-like bumps. The Indian variety is more narrow and has pointed ends with rough, jagged spikes on the rind. It is a staple of South Asian, East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. 

Bitter melon grows best in hot, tropical climates and can be harvested 12 to 16 weeks after planting. Bitter Melon is packed full of key nutrients. Thanks to its potent medicinal properties, bitter melon has long been used by indigenous populations around the world to help treat diabetes-related conditions. To prepare it, start by washing the fruit and cutting it lengthwise. Then use a utensil to scoop out the seeds from the center, and cut the fruit into thin slices. Bitter melon can be enjoyed raw or cooked in various recipes. If you are wondering what you can do with it, check out these bitter melon recipes.


Bitter Melon Stir Fry Five Ways
Bitter melon is most commonly used in stir frys. Give these traditional Chinese bitter melon and pork stir fry with black bean sauce  or chicken and bitter melon stir fry a try. For a vegan option this bitter melon tofu stir fry. Vietnamese bitter melon stir fry with eggs is a hit with white rice, even for breakfast! Or try a Japanese style goya chanpuru bitter melon stir fry. 

Pinakbet 
Pinakbet is an indigenous Filipino dish from the northern regions of the Philippines. Pinakbet is made from mixed vegetables steamed in fish or shrimp sauce. The word is the contracted form of the Ilokano word pinakbet, meaning “shrunk” or “shriveled.” 

Other Way to Enjoy Bitter Melon
Although bitter melon is typically used in stir fry, there are many other ways to prepare it. This comforting bowl of  this Thai bitter melon soup will surely hit the spot on a rainy day. If you’re a fan of seafood, give this shrimp and bitter melon with fermented black beans recipe a try. To benefit from the medicinal properties of bitter melon that can be used to manage diabetes and fight cholesterol, try this bitter gourd tea.

Give these recipes a shot and let us know your favorite way to prepare bitter melon!

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