If you love the taste of popular melons such as watermelon or cantaloupe, you might assume that all melons are as sweet and juicy. This isn’t always the case; there are a large variety of melons out there with unique flavors, like the bitter melon.
The long and spiny bitter melon probably doesn’t look like anything you’ve seen before. So, what does bitter melon taste like?
By the end of this post, you’ll know what it tastes like and what you can do to improve the flavor if you don’t like it. Let’s take a closer look…
What Does Bitter Melon Taste Like?
Unsurprisingly, the bitter melon is incredibly bitter. Biting into it will reward you with a pleasantly crunchy texture and refreshing wateriness that rivals a cucumber, but then you’ll be hit by the sharp, astringent bitterness.
The reason bitter melon is so intensely bitter is the presence of cucurbitacins in it. These compounds are healthy, but also create a potent flavor that many find overwhelming.
Read Also: Bitter Fruits List: 7 Fruits that are Bitter
How Do You Eat Bitter Melon?
The potent, lip-puckering bitterness of bitter melon leaves more than a few people wondering what you’re supposed to do with it. There are plenty of people who would prefer to avoid it entirely!
However, this prickly-looking fruit has been used in Asian cuisine for a long time. If you’re considering trying some, you could follow its traditional uses, such as making a vegan stuffed bitter melon soup.
You can also eat bitter melon raw if you’re brave, but we’d recommend using it as an ingredient in a recipe. That way, you can use other flavors to contrast and reduce its bitterness.
Did you know that bitter melon is technically a vegetable? You can learn more about it in our list of vegetables that start with B.
How Do You Make Bitter Melon Taste Better?
The best thing you can do to make bitter melon more palatable is to combine it with other ingredients. If you don’t like the bitterness, consider using sweet and fresh-tasting foods along with it. These types of foods will naturally counteract its bitter flavor.
For instance, you could make a vegan bitter melon stir fry with ginger and soy sauce. This vegan bitter melon tofu stir fry is an excellent option if you need some inspiration.
Bitter melon can also be used to make a delicious curry. The large number of spices used in the average curry is more than enough to drown out the bitterness. You can try out this bitter gourd curry recipe to start.
What is Bitter Melon Good For?
There are plenty of incentives to try using bitter melon in your cooking. One reason is that it can lower your blood sugar, for instance.
Bitter melon also has numerous vitamins and minerals in it. Each serving will give you vitamins A, C, and E, along with potassium and calcium.
Read Also: What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?
Don’t let the spiny appearance of the bitter melon scare you – this melon can be tasty if you know how to use it. It’s true that, like its name, it’s powerfully bitter. However, you can easily mute this bitterness by using it in traditional recipes like stir fries and soups.