Species: Momordica charantia
Other names: karela, bitter apple, bitter gourd, bitter squash, balsam-pear, pavakka, kaipakka, asosi, kakara, karola, sopropo, khổ qua.
Appearance: Fresh bitter melon is light to dark green in color with a bumpy, warty exterior. Chinese bitter melon is more smooth and yellow-green, whereas Indian bitter melon is more bumpy and darker green.
Typically used: Sliced or cored and stuffed
Origin: Southeast Asia; There are actually two types of bitter melon; The Chinese kind is long, light green, and more smooth with blunted ends. The smaller, darker green variety (which we are using for this product), is more firm with a more warty exterior, and it found in India, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Flavor: Extremely bitter and dry
Culinary uses: Bitter melon is widely used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine, where it is balanced with sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. Add a few slices to broth, soups, stews, & curries to include bitters in your diet without overwhelming bitter taste.
Fresh bitter melon is often cored and stuffed with spiced, minced meat. Also, blanching with salt water can help remove bitterness. At Asian markets, the fresh shoots and leaves are also sold for adding to stir fries or soups.
How to Use Dried Slices:
Serving size: 6-10 slices. Cooking with dried bitter melon is similar to cooking with dried mushrooms in that they need to be rehydrated before they are tender enough to consume. Boil the slices in ~3 cups (700mL) of water for 10 minutes. Save the water for tea, and sweeten to taste. Use rehydrated slices in omelets, frittatas, scrambled eggs, curries, salads, soups, salsas, stir-fries and sautés.
Our Organic Bitter Melon slices can be used just as you would fresh bitter melon. It’s non-GMO, non-irradiated and is always 100% pure and of the best quality. Here are some ways to enjoy our dried, sliced bitter melon:
- Reconstitute in hot water or broth for 10-15 minutes; drain and use for omelets, frittatas, scrambled eggs, curries, salads, soups, salsas, stir-fries and sautés.
Add a tablespoon or two to soups and stews, simmering until done.
Fry dried bitter melon in melted ghee or coconut oil until browned and crispy. Season with jaggery, salt, and/or chili or other spices.
- Many people enjoy this for a crunchy snack
Add a few slices to a jar of pickling/cultured vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, cabbage and onions
Try a couple of minced, rehydrated slices in a bowl of steaming hot miso soup along with grated carrots, chopped scallions, cubed tofu and dried sea vegetables such as nori or wakame
Mince a bit of rehydrated bitter melon; add to guacamole, onion, bean or other dip or hummus
Make bitter melon tea as described above; mix with favorite juices such as pomegranate, cranberry, grape, apple and more. Serve cold for a refreshing summer beverage