What in the world are these bumpy, lumpy & gnarled vegetables? Did I just avoid saying ugly? They are, aren't they? But wait, that's not the only characteristic of these vegetables. As the name suggests, bitter melons (or bitter gourds) are bitter. There are different varieties with different levels of bitterness. I have tried some and even if some are milder or stronger, the best way to control the flavor is to leave them in salt, soak, rinse and lightly squeeze the juice away.
Some bitterness will still be there but it comes out with a definite deliciousness. I swear, I'm not kidding. But let's rewind the clock to go years back to my younger years and ask me the same question, I will just tell you a totally different response. Kids don't like bitter melons. That's a fact and it's not even negotiable. I never met any youngster who likes them but as we progress to adulthood, our palates make a major turn around because now, I don't know anyone who doesn't eat it!
Bitter melons are common vegetables in Asian cuisines and I am sharing with you the traditional way it is cooked in the Philippines. You can cook it with pork or hold the meat and conclude it with a breaking of an egg. It's a simple sautè recipe with a distinctive diverse flavor. You can love it or you can raise your eyebrows.
Bitter melon, as peculiar as it is, can easily be referred to as one of healthiest vegetables there is. It contains at least 3 anti-diabetic properties namely charantin which lowers the blood-glucose level, and insulin-like compound called polypeptide-p, and vicine. It is perfect for those suffering from diabetes.
If you happen to encounter them in the market, get some and try them out in an Asian dish. It's something to try but I am not promising that you will love them even if I absolutely do. Get the Stir-Fried Bitter Melon recipe at She Knows where I created this recipe. If you want to see more of my recipes and some travel articles in the same site, click on my Profile Page there. Enjoy your week!