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  1. #1
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    Bitter Melon Adventure?

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    I attempt to try a new veggie or fruit every week. THIS week it is something called Bitter Melon. I've read that it goes well with pork - and I also know that we have TE members with a wide palate and ethnic background I am curious if there are any bitter melon fans here. I've found several recipes that seem to treat it in a simple pork stirfry, and I've some lovely country style pork ribs that I can use for this.

  2. #2
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    Um...it is an acquired taste, yes bitter/astringent in a veggie way. I would slice like a cucumber and take out the seeds. Maybe stir fry 3-4 slim slices with the rest of food. I would add mushrooms, slice red pepper. Of course, I have no clue what your recipe is. Make sure you have rice or pasta.

    Let us know. Be more conservative in the amount your prepare for a dish in 1 supper sitting.

    I'm trying to think of comparable food taste...and I can't.

    I do buy it fresh 2-3 times per year.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 07-14-2013 at 03:13 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    Um...it is an acquired taste, yes bitter/astringent in a veggie way. I would slice like a cucumber and take out the seeds. Maybe stir fry 3-4 slim slices with the rest of food. Make sure you have rice or pasta.

    Let us know. Be more conservative in the amount your prepare for a dish in 1 supper sitting.
    I will try this tomorrow night - hmmmmm - I don't eat rice or pasta, but I have cauliflower and make a very nice "rice" out of it. Just a couple of slices? Got it, wasn't sure HOW bitter it really is but read on several sites just how "acquired" a taste it is. Thanks, will let you know tomorrow night

  4. #4
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    I don't have rice often anymore.

    I choose light pastas --made of egg white, or buckwheat, etc. There are specific pastas that really are light. I guess I would tend to use an Asian recipe..or use curry with the dish. It would be an interesting kick. Can you have couscous?
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bitter Melon Adventure?

    I don't have grains, or pseudo-grains of any kind. I will stir fry the melon with some pork/veggies and make my cauliflower-rice. I also like to make noodles from zucchini but my special slicer is broken and I've not yet replaced it.

    I do have some Asian spices

  6. #6
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    Sep 2007
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    I love bitter melon!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
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    I got home late from work tonight so my experiment was very simple. I sauteed some lovely country-style pork ribs (after slicing them) and added some Chinese 5-spice powder. I stir-fried a very small amount of the bitter melon - much smaller than I would have if I hadn't been warned, in some onion and garlic, and also made some cauli-rice. It was quite simple, but very nice! My bitter melon was sliced very thin, and only had 5-6 slices but that was enough for one serving. It went very well with the pork, and the spice blend seemed to go along with it as well. It is certainly hard to describe the flavor - and I tasted a little of it raw as I was slicing it.

    This will bear more experimentation, but the next time I will buy a much smaller bitter melon, I don't see my being able to use the entire thing before it spoils.

  8. #8
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    You approached it in a good way, Catrin. You're very diplomatic that you won't be able to use the leftover melon. Have you tried lotus root, white radish? I think those would be more to your liking. Even kohl rabi (which traditional Germans prepare).

    For others:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?...melon+diabetes A lot of research on this vegetable.
    http://bittermelon.org/heal/healthbenefits


    My tendency for this veggie is if one falls in love with it, maybe having it once or twice a month would be fine. It is powerful in its natural flavour. Oak probably has a wonderful family heirloom recipe. My mother does prepare it well in different ways ..but usually stir frying it. She has also done a consommť soup (using chicken or pork) which really cuts down the taste.

    It took me years to voluntarily buy bitter melon after I started living on my own.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    Oak probably has a wonderful family heirloom recipe..
    Heh, not me. Not only did I never have bitter melon until I was in my 40s, I wouldn't have a clue how to prepare it Chinese style. I have a couple of nice Indian recipes if you're interested.

    Also, if anyone needs cucumbers I will mail them to you. I hadn't grown them in a very long time and forgot how prolific they are.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #10
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    Re: Bitter Melon Adventure?

    Lol Oak I did like the flavor but yeah, a little bit goes a long way I did see the links on the health benefits of bitter melon, interesting.

    I've tried kohlrabi and liked it, I think I roasted it but can't remember. White radish? Hmmmmm will keep my eyes out for it. Tempted to try cactus but all of those spines don't seem a good mix for my natural...gracefulness

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    Active.com just posted something about Okinawan food with a picture of bitter melon. The article didn't have any recipes but it got me interested enough to google - here are some Okinawan style bitter melon recipes. http://chicagookinawakenjinkai.blogs...our-plate.html

    My garden is coming on now and I'm not buying many vegetables at the moment ... and bitter melon is one thing I did not plant ... but I'm keeping these recipes on file.



    I'm guessing that by "white radish" shootingstar means daikon, which is in pretty much any grocery store these days. European icicle radishes are actually hotter than the red ones. Bleh. Radish is one of the few vegetables I just really don't like. Daikon is very mild, and when we get red radishes from the CSA I can handle them roasted, but if I never had to eat radish again it would be okay with me.


    ETA: And here is the website for the National Bitter Melon Council. Yes, there is such a thing. Yes, in the United States. There are tons of recipes of all kinds. I've only barely skimmed the surface.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 07-20-2013 at 04:00 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
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    Interesting, Oak. I would never think of combining bitter melon with ..fish. I have a personal view that quality fish is best enjoyed with cooking ingredients and techniques that show off its delicate freshness. My thinking that bitter melon would overwhelm fish abit.
    I've had/done bitter melon with sliced beef, chicken breast (in addition to pork) dishes.


    I like red radishes which I find them spicy.

    I like daikon ...both raw and stir fried with other veggies. My mother of course makes daikon cakes....which is a savoury dim sum. When I visited 2 months ago, she added wheat flour..and actually tasted good. Not all her creations turn out well.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 07-20-2013 at 04:29 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

 

 

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