Recipe : Bitter gourd/bitter melon –

I enjoy taking photos of quirky looking fruits and vegetables more than I enjoy cooking them. Though I don’t really fancy bitter gourd or referred as bitter melon by certain countries, I bought them for the experimental photo shoot.

I got myself a rather old fruit (or is it a vegetable?) and hence, the seeds and inner pulp have turned reddish. Beautiful, isn’t it?

To cut a bitter gourd, slice it lengthwise, scoop and scrap the inner white pulp, leaving only the outer green parts. Then, cut the bitter gourd thinly.

To get rid of the bitterness, I normally pour on a lot of salt and leave the slices to stand for a while. Rinse thoroughly to remove the salt.

I used half of the bitter gourd to fry with garlic, anchovies and knock two eggs to make a dish.  Bitter gourd also tastes good stir fried with tumeric or salted soya bean paste (taucheo). Normally, people like to add an egg or two to the vegetable because the eggs counter the tartness of the bitter gourd. Adding prawns, meats or anchovies will balance out the taste. Bitter gourd can be cooked as soup, adding minced meat as flavour.

It is said that bitter gourd or bitter melon has some health benefits, especially for those with diabetes. You can read more about bitter gourd on Wikipedia.


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Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

7 thoughts on “Recipe : Bitter gourd/bitter melon –


    (August 4, 2006 - 5:21 pm)

    wah “fu kua” i like

    but my moms version no anchovies wan

    mom fries them like the indian version, but indian like to use the smaller ones which is more bitter i believe, they fry them with salt only, , my mom uses a batter – like tempura … nice


    (August 4, 2006 - 9:49 pm)

    yes, bitter gourd juice drank first thing in the morning can help diabetics… my friend’s mom added one green apple to even out the bitter taste..


    (August 4, 2006 - 10:52 pm)

    hhmm…i’m drooling thinking of my mum’s ‘fu kua pai guat’ (braised bitter gourd with pork ribs)


    (August 5, 2006 - 7:17 am)

    Kak lilian, I like to buat masak lemak bitter gourd… with beaten eggs or shrimp….


    (August 5, 2006 - 9:15 am)

    In Japan, we can have this vegitable in summer. I fly bitter gourd with bean curd (tofu), pork luncheon meat, and egg. Please try this famous dish in Okinawa, Japan if you have chance!


    (August 5, 2006 - 4:41 pm)

    Lilian, the bitterness is what we look for ….maybe the salt if for the kids. They simply hate the taste…lolz


    (August 7, 2006 - 7:46 pm)

    Too bad many people remove the seed. Actually it is edible and contain lots of nutrients.
    Only the seed contain active ingredient for diebetic cure. 😉

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