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Bitter Melon


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8 replies to this topic

#1 GlorifiedRice

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:56 AM

Hi,

 

Im gonna try to supplement my diet with Bitter Melon....

 

Aside from Goya Champuru what other STELLAR recipes or hints to use it best, does anyone have?

 

Im looking for anything that lessens the bitterness or masks it.

 

SWEET or Savory dishes please,

 

TY


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#2 dcarch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 01:10 PM

Slice b. melon in bite size pieces. Boil them first in a big pot of water. Throw away the water.

 

At this point the b. melon bitterness is like a fine beer.

 

Also, ripe melons are less bitter.

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch, 21 July 2014 - 01:13 PM.


#3 GlorifiedRice

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 01:20 PM

Dcarch?

Will that lower the blood sugar lowering phytonutrients?

I hate family genetics!


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#4 loki

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:11 PM

I would not use bitter melon for this unless you like it bitter.  You will not be successful trying to eat something you need to mask.  Instead take supplements - or dry it, powder it and fill your own capsules.  There are countless plants with similar claims.  Find another that works, and that you like, and use it.  Right now this is a fad.

 

I like it like as it is, but at first was a little shocked by the taste.  Now I actually have cravings for it!  I am going to follow this post to see if anyone has personal recipes.  Right now I don't have faves (except the bitter melon with oyster sauce below) that I've tried out - just collecting them.

 

I first had it in in Beef and Bittermelon with oyster sauce at a Chinese Restaurant.  Very easy to do - probably don't need a recipe for this - just standard stir fry wok cooking techniques.  I usually add onions and garlic, and a bit of ginger too. It works with other meats or no meats too.  I don't pre-boil the bitter melon anymore unless I am going to freeze some too.

 

There are numerous Indian dishes made with it so look for it there. Karela is one name used for it in India - but there are others and spellings are variable - but look for it under the language for which you are seeking a recipe. http://bittermelon.o...saroundtheglobe  http://www.plantname....html#charantia

 

Here is a great link http://www.harekrsna...pes/bitters.htm I'm not Hare Krisna, so I add onions and garlic to many of these recipes (they abstain from both)

 

It's popular in SE Asia too - you can find lots of recipes if you search.

 

The leaves and stems are used too.  Not sure about the phytochemicals in these, but I've had a Philopino soup with them that was wonderful.  I have not had an abundance of the greens to spare for this, but maybe I will this year.  Seems they also use them in Thailand and Vietnam, and likely other SE Asian countries too.

 

I wonder if it works with chocolate - complimenting the bitterness?

 

Also wonder if you can sweeten it and make drinks with it?

 

I am growing 4 varieties this year in my garden.  It's a challenging crop for me as I have a short growing season.  But it looks like I have plants with fruits on them as we speak so I will be successful this year.  They are rampant growers, and are very easy in places with heat (humidity and wet conditions don't bother them either compared with others in the squash family).  Evergreen seeds is a good source of early varieties.  Chip the seed a little and they will come up easily once the soil is warm.  They don't like being transplanted so I just put them in the ground with black plastic mulch and a row cover to keep things warm and cozy.  The row cover comes off when the plants start to sprawl and temps get in the 90's.



#5 GlorifiedRice

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:16 PM

No I like the bitterness, but at times you can get one or two that are way too bitter.


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#6 dcarch

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:33 PM

Dcarch?

Will that lower the blood sugar lowering phytonutrients?

I hate family genetics!

 

I am interested in alternative medicine, but I am not an expert.

 

Yes, bitter melon is believed to have beneficial effects in lowering blood sugar. You  may also look into corn silk uses.

 

dcarch

 

For recipes, Google "stuffed bitter melon."


Edited by dcarch, 21 July 2014 - 05:33 PM.


#7 huiray

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:49 PM

STELLAR recipes is in the mouth of the chomper, no?  What is delicious to one is poison to another.

 

OK, since you say you like the bitterness - then how do you decide something is too bitter?  Before cooking? After cooking? Or do you try a slice raw?  If it is "after cooking" it would be too late to do anything about it; whereas if one messed with it before cooking it might then turn out too tame if the uncooked gourd was only mildly bitter to start with...

 

Apart from blanching it (as dcarch mentioned) you can also toss it (sliced up & deseeded) with salt, let sit for a while, rinse and pat dry.  I dislike this (even if I did want to reduce the bitterness, which I have never found to be needed) because it makes the slices limp.

 

Some recipes (by no means exhaustive) to consider, depending on one's notion of STELLAR...

Yong Tau Foo

Bittergourd (BG) with beef and LOTS of chopped smashed garlic (I dislike anything else in this except just salt) (NO oyster sauce, onion or ginger...personally)

BG omelette (this is NOT the same as the Okinawan dish you mentioned), Cantonese/Hokkien variations

BG with pork spare ribs & black bean sauce

BG stuffed w/ pork & prawn

BG soups of various kinds (e.g. the pork&prawn stuffed BG can also be cooked as a soup)

etc

 



#8 liuzhou

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:07 PM

I've never felt the need to de-bitter my bitter melon either.

 

The second book in this thread (starting here) has ten recipes using bitter melon.

 

These are:

 

Salted Egg with Bitter Melon /385

Stuffed Bitter Melon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Lean Pork /481

Big Knife Bitter Melon /484

Chicken Stuffed Bitter Melon /486

Pork Fried with Bitter Melon /491

Three Delicacy Stuffed Bitter Melon /494

Tangerine Peel Bitter Melon /499

Bitter Melon with Cured Beef /502

Golden Bitter Melon /549

Pork Rib and Bitter Melon Soup /592

 

If any of these particularly take your fancy, let me know and I'll translate the ingredients and summarise the recipe here.



#9 liuzhou

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:18 PM

Stuffed Bitter Melon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Lean Pork /481

 

Pork and Shiitake Stuffed Bitter Melon.jpg

 

Here's mine. These will be browned in oil in the wok, then steamed on top of the rice in the rice cooker.


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