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Bitter Melon

June 13, 2010

The bitter melon stir fry is one of my favorite dishes. Like its name, the bitter melon is, well, very bitter. This is what my husband would consider “weird food”. He calls anything that I eat that he’s not familiar with “weird food”.

While it’s rather strange-looking and bitter. The bitter melon is far from being weird and useless when it comes to quality. We have a saying in Thai that goes “Sweet is air, Bitter is medicine”. And bitter melon is a perfect example of that. In Japan, the bitter melon is a big part of the Okinawan cuisine. Okinawa has the highest life expectancies in Japan. And we all know that Japan is famous for the longevity of its people.  It is believed that the bitter melon plays a big part in that. You can read more about the bitter melon at bittermelon.org or simply just google it!

Let’s look at my bitter melon dish! 🙂

This is what it looks like inside. I only used half of it to make my lunch. You want to remove the core and cut it into smaller pieces.

Like so.

What you need for this stir-fry dish are the bitter melon(half), chopped garlic(1 clove), oyster sauce(1-2 table spoons) and an egg.

  • You add a little oil to the skillet and stir in the garlic.
  • Before the garlic dries up and burns add your bitter melon, a table spoon water and soy sauce and stir them up for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Make a little room for the egg and go ahead and throw an egg in there! Stir it around like you would a scrambled egg.
  • And stir the egg and bitter melon bits together. Be careful not to over cook it or it gets dry and the egg will taste a little weird.
  • My solution to overcooking the egg is just to add a little oyster sauce at the end.

I cooked it in a non-stick pot because I don’t own a wok, and the pot kept messiness and spills at bay.

(No wok??! I know right! What kind of Asian am I??!? haha)

Bitter melon stir-fry over rice. Wholesome goodness !

For those of you who want to try adding some bitter melon into your life. Don’t be afraid. Next time you see one go ahead and pick it up! Because I have a little tip on how to remove the bitterness. The magic is in the salt ! I would say for this dish I would use  a teaspoon of salt.

After you cut up the bitter melon put it in a bowl and sprinkle some salt on it. Mix it up a little and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Don’t let it sit too long, you want to remove the bitterness not add the saltiness.

When the 10-15 minutes is over, squeeze out the juice. The salt should have pulled out some juice already, but go ahead and squeeze some more out. Rinse the pieces to get rid of the salt. And Voila! You’ve taken the “bitter” off of bitter melon!

I always cook it as it is, I enjoy its bitterness.. After all it’s called bitter melon for a reason right? 😉 Plus I would want to preserve the nutritious quality as much as possible.

And to end this post, I will leave you with a picture of our Malamute, Koda. He’s chilling in the house a lot now as it’s getting quite hot outside.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 13, 2010 7:39 pm

    I’ve never prepared bitter melon this way before. I can’t wait to try it.
    I love your blog. It looks so fresh and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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