I Try It So You Don’t Have To: Bitter Gourd mark October 23, 2012 I Try It So You Don't Have To, Interesting, Reviews 3 Comments Who could look at this lovely thing and not want to dig in? Most people I imagine. Not me. A while back I saw this on an episode of Chopped and added it to my list of things I should try some day. When I saw it fresh on the shelf during my visit to my local Indian market I knew it must be mine. At the same time I picked up a bag of dried bitter gourd to go along side of it. I had no idea how to use either one but that is what the internet is for. As it turns out bitter gourd, or melon, has a long list of reputed health benefits. Who knew? After checking in to it I wasn’t so sure the dried product was going to be much good for tasting but that is what I am here for. Everything I read led me to believe I was in for some serious bitter trying it raw. I was expecting a looney tunes like alum reaction. Time for some Alum (silly embedding disabled video) And off we go. I sliced it up and it looked just like any other melons or squashes, filled with a seedy white pith that was not likely to have much taste to it. I sliced up some of the fresh stuff and popped a piece into my mouth. Wow, bitter is the only thing that jumps out. It was no Tom and Jerry mouth pucker but it was certainly lip smackingly bitter. I broke it up and tried just the green outer part and that was where all the flavor came from. If I really paid attention I could pick up some minor green pepper like flavor but it was mostly just bitter. The white pith was very bland and not quite as bitter. Next I tried a dried piece on it’s own and that was mistake. It had almost all the bitter and none of the moisture of the fresh melon. I needed some water to choke it down. I knew full well the dried one would be mostly inedible raw as it is frequently ground up or steeped prior to use. I fried up a little of both in some olive oil, salt and pepper. Just a few minutes in the heat with some seasonings made all the difference in the world. The fresh one was still bitter but had a much better flavor, I could really detect some green pepper notes and a mild squash flavor. Even the dried one softened up a bit and tasted better. I can totally see myself using this in soups and stews to add a bitter note and some fresh flavors without the sometimes overwhelming flavor of green peppers. I would not recommend anyone eating it fresh but as an ingredient this is a “Try It” for sure. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts mark Latest posts by mark (see all) Pizzeria Bianco Review: Is it really the best pizza in America? - December 10, 2013 Truffle Fries Review - December 5, 2013 Breaking News! Jack In The Box to Release Fajita Ranch Melt Sourdough Sandwich - December 3, 2013 3 Responses browntown October 30th, 2012 When my family make it, they salt the bitter melon, then let it rest for a while and then deep fry it, and then stir-fry it with spices and potatoes. The salt really helps tame the bitterness. Reply Mark October 30th, 2012 I can absolutely see how that would be delicious. Just a minute with heat salt and pepper made a huge difference. I make peas and potatoes periodically and this would make a great to flavor and texture Reply paul peel August 29th, 2013 I have a friend in nash county, nc who raises bitter mellon and just throws it away. Who could he contact in NC that might wish to purchase it. Paul Peel Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Current ye@r * Leave this field empty Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.