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Bitter Melon


legant
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[One of the joys of participating in a CSA: you never know what you're gonna get.]

I got three of these suckers. I tried Bitter Melon Scrambled Eggs with mixed results. IF (yes... that's a BIG if) I try it again, I would dice the bitter melon, rather than slice it. I also added Parmesan cheese. Lots of Parmesan cheese.

Given that it's a long weekend, I'm planning on trying this Bitter Melon Shrimp Stir-fry recipe.

That leaves one more Bitter Melon. Any suggestions?

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You could try searching for Indian recipes using "karela", the Hindi word for bitter melon. I know I've enjoyed karela fry, karela curries...mmm. Though, if you see pictures, you might see the Indian sub-type of bitter melon which is all spiky and alien-looking compared to the smooth, Chinese variety.

There is also the dish that I think of when I think of Okinawan cuisine: goya chanpuru, a stir-fry with bitter melon (goya), pork and tofu. I've seen some recipes that use Spam thanks to the presence of American soldiers on Okinawa.

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Legant - I have always been taught that you need to neutralize bitter melon before cooking it. Otherwise, it is really bitter and hard to swallow. Bitter melon is very beneficial to your body.

This article gives a good explanation of bitter melon and uses for it (although it argues neutralization might decrease its benefits).

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As Mary suggests, you can neutralize some of the bitterness by rolling the goya in salt. Rinse it off before using.

Goya chanpuru would be my next experiment as well. Or, if you have some miso on hand, slice the goya in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise. Scoop out the seeds, spread the flesh with miso, and broil. You could also try grating the outside into a glass of shochu and topping the mixture with soda.

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