Ingredient Name: Bitter Melon, bittermelon

Chinese Name: 苦瓜 (Kǔguā)

An interesting fruit to say the least.  I actually DO NOT enjoy the taste of bitter melon (at all), but some people actually LOVE it!  This is a very unique melon in that you can find it in soups, stews, teas, drinks, and various Chinese dishes across the spectrum.

What is this?
  • Usually long, green and bumpy to texture (although some varieties are also yellow) – which also varies the bitterness
  • It is bitter to taste (even after being cooked)
  • The Chinese types are usually 20-30 cm in length

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water
  • Half and remove all seeds
  • Cut into edible portions for soups or cooking

Where can I buy this?

  • Available in fresh marts in Hong Kong
  • Also available in supermarkets

What is the cost?

  • 1 bitter melon about 30cm in length cost around $5-6 HKD

Any benefits?

  • Helps remove heatiness and eliminate heat
  • Aids in digestion and stimulate appetite
  • Have been found to be a anti-cancer agent and improve the immune system
  • Also helps with dyspepsia and constipation

Any precautions?

  • Avoid during pregnancies (it is a contraindication)
  • Be sure to remove all seeds before consuming as can be toxic (especially with children)

Any substitutes?

  • None, for the bitter taste, no other melon or fruit can replace it