How to Prepare Bitter Melon


Bitter melon: perhaps the oddest looking vegetable in your garden, you might wonder what would possess someone to try this wrinkly, green gourd. Without proper preparation, the fruit of the bitter melon lives up to its name as one of the bitterest. People continue to enjoy the bitter melon because of its touted health benefits, including: lowing blood sugar levels and decreasing the chances of developing diabetes complications, such as kidney disease or eye problems. Nutritionally, bitter melon contains high amounts of iron, beta carotene, calcium and fiber, making it a healthy addition to your diet regardless of its medical claims. Blanching and salting the bitter melon cuts back on its namesake taste, so you can enjoy it added to all of your favorite recipes.

Step 1

Cut the melon along the length in half to expose the seeds.

Step 2

Scoop out the seeds by running a melon baller or spoon along the seed cavity and discard, as these seeds have not matured enough for planting.

Step 3

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat, and fill the shallow bowl halfway with equal parts of water and ice.

Step 4

Thinly slice the bitter melon into half-moon shapes.

Step 5

Drop the slices into the boiling water for one minute to begin the blanching process.

Step 6

Pour the contents of the pot through the colander to drain off the boiling water, and immediately transfer the bitter melon slices to the ice water bath to stop the cooking process.

Step 7

Line the bottom of a colander with the bitter melon slices; avoid overlapping.

Step 8

Sprinkle salt over the slices, and place the colander over a sink to drain for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 9

Rinse the salt off of the bitter melon; add the melon to your favorite stir fry or other recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • Bitter melon
  • Knife
  • Melon baller or spoon
  • Pot
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Ice
  • Salt
  • Colander
  • Bowl


  • Bitter Melon
  • The National Bitter Melon Council: Cooking Bitter Melon
  • The National Bitter Melon Council: Farm Growing Information

Who Can Help

  • Bitter Melon Recipes
Keywords: bitter melon, bitter gourd, prepare melon

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.