When I saw a plant labelled “bitter melon” (at Lowe’s, of all places), of course I had to get it. Who could resist?
It’s grown very slowly so far, but it does have one fine “melon” to show for it:
In researching momordica charantia, I’ve been overwhelmed by all the great nutritional benefits listed for this, this . . . thing. Seriously overloaded with information about how it’s good against diabetes, viruses, malaria, cancer and more, and how it boosts immunity and promotes heart health. Why have I never heard of this before?
Everyone in China, India, and parts east has. It’s very well-known across Asia where it’s blanched, boiled, fried, stuffed, and sauteed in dishes I’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce properly. I wanted to cook it up in a traditional dish and couldn’t find anything without more hard-to-find ingredients I’d also never heard of. I finally found a familiar name: Gado-Gado, an Indonesian specialty I’ve cooked for years and love, with peanut sauce and blanched vegetables over rice.
I’ll be cooking this soon and posting about it once I know how bitter melon tastes. Apparently . . . it’s bitter.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your experiences with this plant and your favorite ways to prepare it.