B is for Bitter Melons
The Truth About Bitter Melons
Not all people would love Bitter Melons because of it's very dominant bitter taste no matter what you do with it. I'm not a fan either. It is commonly found in various Asian cuisine though it is seldom mixed with other vegetables but can be moderated by salting and washing before cooking.
Its place of origin is still undetermined other than its a native of the Tropics. As well it has a good medicinal uses to fight cough, malaria and diabetes. It belongs to the subtropical vine family of Cucurbitaceae because of its edible fruit among all the bitter vegetables.
Newly Harvested Bitter Melons aka Ampalaya
Photo Courtesy of melbinux is still inactive
Bitter Melon / Gourd (also known as Momordica Charantia) is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown for edible fruit, which is among the most bitter of all vegetables.
English names for the plant and its fruit include bitter melon or bitter gourd (translated from Chinese: pinyin:kugua,) ampalaya from the Philippines, goya from Japanese, and karela from the Punjabi, Hindi-Urdu, Nepali name of the vegetable. South American and Caribbean names include Balsamino and Saraseed.
The original home of the species is not known, other than that it is a native of the tropics. It is widely grown in South and Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and the Caribbean.
Books about Bitter Melon
How to Grow Bitter Melon (Ampalaya)
Bitter Melon/Ampalaya is one of the vegetables you need to plant in your farm or garden. Aside from being a good source of vitamins and minerals, it is also a good source of income because it has a ready market. Almost all the parts of this plant are useful. Its fruits and leaves--and sometimes its stalks--can be sold.
Apply just enough water to keep the soil moist--not too wet but not too dry. Do not over water your ampalaya plants since, as stated earlier, they cannot bear too much moisture.
The ampalaya vine is found everywhere in the country for it grows on different kinds of soils. However, for best result, plant it on a well-drained, sandy-loam or clay-loam soil which is rich in organic matter. Do not plant ampalaya in wet areas because it cannot tolerate too much moisture. You can grow ampalaya any time of the year as long as there is sufficient moisture.
How To Lessen the Bitter Taste of Ampalaya
First, trim the ampalaya by cutting off both ends. Cut in half lengthwise. With a sturdy spoon, scape off the seeds and membranes. Cut into 1/4 inch slices, or thinner if you can manage it.
Place the sliced ampalaya in a bowl and sprinkle generously with salt.
Toss to coat every piece of ampalaya with salt. Leave for at least 30 minutes. Squeeze out the juices, rinse and drain. Use in your preferred ampalaya dish.
Bitter Melons / Ampalaya Recipes
Sauteed Bitter Gourd Recipe
This recipe is another one of my personal favorite Ampalaya dish. Just see to it that your Ampalaya's are properly washed to lessen its bitter taste. When its all done, you can start now on your cooking!
1 large or 2 medium-sized ampalaya (trimmed, cut and prepped)
2 tbsps. of dried shrimps
4 cloves of garlic
2 to 3 tbsps. of cooking oil
Crush, peel and chop the garlic. Roughly chop the onion and tomatoes. Beat the eggs. Heat the cooking oil in a pan. Add the garlic, onion and tomatoes. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until they start to soften.
Add the ampalaya and dried shrimps to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Pour in about 1/3 cup of water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the water had evaporated and the ampalaya is cooked through.
Turn up the heat to medium high and pour in the beaten eggs. DO NOT disturb for about 15 seconds to allow the eggs to partially set.
Stir lightly and continue cooking until the eggs are fully cooked.
Bitter Melon Recipe Links
- Bitter Melon Recipes and Pictures
Bitter Melon Picture and Recipes - See a photo of this popular Chinese ingredient and learn how to use it in recipes.
- Bitter Melon Stir-fry
Bitter melon stir-fry - A recipe for Stir-fried Bitter Melon, an unusual looking vegetable with a different flavor.
- Bitter Melon Soup In Sparerib Broth Recipe -- ThaiTable.com -
Thai recipe for Bitter Melon Soup In Sparerib Broth. How it's really made in Thailand. Step-by-step photos. All the secrets revealed.
- Ampalaya aka Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon | Health Recipes
Ampalaya is a vegetable grown throughout the Philippines. It is mostly cultivated, although some grows wild in the remote areas.
- Oriental Stir-Fried Beef and Bitter Melon recipe - Beef Recipes
A recipe for Oriental Stir-Fried Beef and Bitter Melon on the Beef Recipes website.
- Indian bitter melon - Recipes
Indian bitter melon Recipe to Cookbookwiki
- Chinese Pork Bitter Melon Recipes
Enjoy our collection of chinese pork bitter melon recipes submitted, reviewed and rated by ifood.tv community. Meet people who are looking for chinese pork
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