Bitter-Melon

Bitter-Melon

This page is an open source resource guide for bitter melon. It is for growing and maintaining the most bio-diverse, delicious, and broadly applicable bitter melon selection possible. It contains cultural considerations, planting guidelines, descriptions, and the best places we’ve found for purchasing the species we’ve listed. As part of the One Community Highest Good food component of global transformation, this page will continue to evolve indefinitely to contain maintenance and care tips, accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model, and even recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property.

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Bitter Melon collage, One Community

BITTER MELON

(Click here for bitter melon purchase details)

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia)
Bitter Melon, One Community Bitter melon is a vining species of cucurbit native to the warm parts of Asia, where it has been cultivated for centuries for its fruits. They are used in many Asian cuisines for their sharp bitter flavor, thought to balance fatty meats such as pork. They also have medicinal uses and are considered useful to aid digestion and promote the flow of bile.
CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS
  • The vines prefer rich humusy soil
  • The vigorous vines require support
  • Bitter Melons require a long warm growing season
  • If sufficient pollinators are not present, hand pollinate
  • Bitter melons can be harvested immature or fully sized
PLANTING GUIDELINES

Start seeds early indoors to maximize growing season. Plant out after last frost and when soil has warmed. Row covers, hot caps or polytunnel/hoop house cultivation may be required in cooler climates. Foliar feed with liquid seaweed or fish emulsion during the growing season.

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VIDEO COMING: Planting tutorial followed by time lapse growth videos

SEE OUR HOW TO HELP AND/OR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN PAGE IF YOU’D LIKE TO GET INVOLVED AND/OR SUPPORT ONE COMMUNITY’S DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Wikipedia – Bitter Melon

Bitter Gourd Long, One Community
GBM#1 :: Bitter Gourd Long Bitter Melon

The Bitter Gourd Long is a Japanese variety. It has green and heavily warted skin that tastes best when harvested young (at around 10-13 inches) when the fruits are crisp and tender. The climbing vine can reach 12 feet, has yellow flowers, and prefers a warm climate and some humidity.

Futo-Spindle, One Community
GBM#2 :: Futo-Spindle Bitter Melon

The Futo-Spindle bitter gourd is a Japanese variety that is an easy and vigorous grower. The large climbing vine produces yellow flowers and 6-8 inch dark green fruits with heavily warted skin. The vine can grow 12 feet long and has a high tolerance for heat. The young leafy shoots of this plant can also be harvested and eaten.

Green Skin Bitter Melon, One Community
GBM#3 :: Green Skin Bitter Melon

The Green Skin bitter gourd is an excellent open-pollinated Chinese variety. It take about 70 days to produce fruits that are about 8-10 inches long and 3 inches in diameter. These fruits have green skin and large smooth warts. In addition to the fruits, the leaves and leafy shoots of this plant are also edible.

Mara Bitter Melon, One Community
GW#4 :: Mara Bitter Melon

Mara is a vigorous and disease tolerant bitter gourd that is popular in Chinese cuisine. It is open pollinated and produces large, cylindrical, and glossy-green fruits that grow about 3 inches in diameter and 11 inches long and weigh about a pound.

Bitter Melon Plant Material/Seed Providers:
Bitter Melon Purchase Details
REF # VEGETABLES VARIETY SOURCE QUANTITY UNIT COST TOTAL COST
GBM#1 Bitter Melon Bitter Gourd Long KZS 1 pkt. $3.59 $3.59
GBM#2 Bitter Melon Futo- Spindle KZS 1 pkt. $3.59 $3.59
GBM#3 Bitter Melon Green Skin KZS 1 pkt. $3.59 $3.59
GBM#4 Bitter Melon Mara KZS 1 pkt. $3.59 $3.59

 

OTHER BITTER MELON RESOURCES

We are seeking awesome bitter melon resources. If you know of one, please click here to share it with us so we can make this page better.

 

BITTER MELON AS PART OF THE BOTANICAL GARDEN MODEL

This section will evolve to include accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model.

 

BITTER MELON PREPARATION, PRESERVATION, AND RECIPES

This section will evolve to include testimonials, recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property first, and then later with additional information from other Highest Good collaborators and teacher/demonstration hubs.

Bitter Melon with Scrambled Eggs, Bitter Melon Recipes, One Community

Bitter Melon with Scrambled Eggs

Recipe courtesy of: Mama in Heels


Total Time: 20 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 2 Servings
Level: Easy

 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups bitter melon, halved and sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup (to balance out the bitterness taste)

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Directions

  1. Heat a skillet on medium.
  2. Add bitter melon and cook for 5 minutes or until it is cooked. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the eggs.
  4. Add olive oil to the skillet and then the eggs.
  5. Scramble the eggs, add the bitter melon, salt, ketchup and oyster sauce and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes to desired consistency.

Serve with a  side of rice.

Stuffed Bitter Gourd, Bitter Gourd Recipes, One Community

Stuffed Bitter Gourd

Recipe courtesy of: Madhu’s Everyday Indian


Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 4 Servings
Level: Easy

 

Ingredients

  • Bitter gourd (Karela/Kakarkayi) Medium size
  • 2 Medium-sized onion (1 chopped to tiny pieces)
  • 4 tbsp dalia powder/chanaga pappu powder
  •  1 1/2 tbsp grated dry coconut
  • red chille powder- 1/2 to 1 tsp
  • salt as desired

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Directions

  1. Cut the bitter gourd into thin round circles. Pop them in the oven at 300º and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Now in a pan put a teaspoon of oil and fry the bitter gourd on both sides till golden brown. Sprinkle some salt and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan, add some more oil and add the chopped onion. Cook until soft and then add the dalia, coconut, red chilli powder, and salt. At this point the mixture will be dry, sprinkle a few tablespoons of water which will help you make round balls out of it.
  4. Finally add the chopped coriander leaves and turn off the stove.
  5. When the mixture is warm enough to handle, make round balls out of it. And serve this with the pan fried bitter gourd and hot rice.

Stuffed Bitter Melon, Bitter Melon Recipes, One Community

Stuffed Bitter Melon

Recipe courtesy of: Nasi Lemak Lover


Total Time: 40 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 4 Servings
Level: Easy

 

Ingredients

  • 15g glass noodles
  • 5g dried black fungus, soaked and cut into strips
  • 250g ground pork (can be made vegetarian)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground white pepper
  • 1 egg (small)
  • 2 bitter melons / bittergourds, medium
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Chinese chives, blanched in boiling water as this will be used as strings to tie the bitter melons
  • Coriander leaves (for garnishing)

Directions

  1. Soak glass noodles and black fungus separately in water till soften. Roughly cut the glass noodles into 1-1/2-inch pieces and place in a bowl with the pork, black fungus, chopped onions, fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and the egg. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Cut a length wise opening on one side of the bitter melon deep through the seeds but not through the other side. Using a spoon, scoop out the soft white flesh and seeds of the bitter melons.
  3. Fill the whole bitter melon with pork mixture. Tie the both ends of the stuffed bitter melons with the blanched chives.
  4. Put the chicken stock in a large saucepan. Season the soup to taste with a bit of fish sauce and salt and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the stuffed melon to the soup, return to a simmer, and cook for 25 minutes. The bitter melons are cooked when they turn from bright green to olive green.
  6. To serve cut in half or small discs, and garnish with the green onions, coriander and ground pepper.

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