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Bitter Melon

Posted Jul 03 2008 5:10pm

You can eat the bitter melon thinly sliced raw, but chances are you'll prefer it, cooked. How about deep fried, stir-fried, parboiled, or stuffed?

Season bitter melon slices with salt, turmeric, and a little chili and then deep fry or remove the central pith and stuff this gourd with seasoned minced pork, shrimp and chopped onion, or fish paste before baking.

The bitter melon picked at maturity will be bitter. The younger, thinner, shorter and bright green bitter melon will be less bitter tasting.

Bitter melon is most popular in Asian cookery. There is a long-standing belief in Asia that anything bitter tasting is good for you and may even have healing power. Perhaps that's so. Truly, in the Occident, bitter melon is a bit of an acquired taste.

To draw the bitterness from the bitter melon, slice and liberally salt it and set aside for 30 minutes. You can then press or squeeze the slices, and press again, and pat dry before using. If the bitter melon is still too bitter blanch the slices in boiling water until they turn a bright emerald color, plunge them in cold water, and drain before cooking.

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