Bitter melon is not that well known, but it is one of the most interesting vegetables I have ever encountered. If you don’t recall having seen a bitter melon, it is characteristically light to medium-dark green in color, with a bumpy exterior. It is a vegetable typically found in Asian supermarkets, although your local supermarket may start stocking it. At any rate, not many people know what to do with bitter melon, so this article will explain to you the many ways you can start including bitter melon into your diet.
Bitter melon is exactly that – a bitter melon. The bitterness will differ with every melon, but generally if you do not like the bitterness of kale, you won’t like the bitterness that comes with bitter melon. However, the bitterness can be somewhat lessened depending on how the bitter melon is cooked.
To cook bitter melon, you simply wash it and, using a chef’s knife and placing the bitter melon on a cutting board, slicing the melon lengthwise. Once you have two halves, you will be able to clearly see the seeds and the inside of the bitter melon. You can actually keep the seeds, allow them to dry and cure, and plant them if you choose.
With a spoon, remove the seeds and the white material surrounding the seeds. Now you can slice the bitter melon thinly. It is better to slice the bitter melon thinly because this will lessen the amount of bitterness experienced with each bite. You can add it to vegetable stews and soups. You can even add it to scrambled eggs and have one of the most nutritious breakfasts, full of protein and iron, which you may have ever had. You can add bitter melon to a stir-fry, or you can deep-fry each thin slice. Deep-frying will actually remove much of the bitterness, especially if you have chosen a bitter melon that is a bit old. However, I don’t suggest boiling the bitter melon and then deep-frying it or adding it to any other dish. Much of the nutritious benefit will leach out into the boiling water (although you can boil bitter melon if you are planning on using the boiling water, too!).
As you can see, the bitter melon is actually a very versatile vegetable. If you love vegetables that are chock full of iron and other vitamins and minerals, then you may enjoy eating bitter melon.