I've been seeing a lot of bitter melon at the Farmer's Markets and in Asian groceries recently. I've always seen this fruit around, but I never knew what to do with it, so I decided to do some research.
Bitter melon are subtropical fruits that grow on vines, and they are commonly found in South and Southeast Asian cuisine. It also grows in Africa and the Caribbean.
Bitter melon is watery and crunchy like a cucumber, and can be eaten raw, but is more commonly used in stews, curries, and stir fries. As its name indicates, it has a bitter taste, but this is countered by salting the cut parts of the melon and cooking it with sauces and spices. It is also deep fried and served as a street snack.
You can experiment with bitter melon by trying some of these recipes:
Bitter Melon with Egg and Tofu
Chicken and Bitter Melon Soup
(Image: Kathryn Hill)