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Bitter Melon Recipes

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Love it or hate it, bitter melon is one of the more notable vegetables in Chinese and Asian cooking. Here are several bitter melon recipes, from Pork Stuffed With Bitter Melon to an Indian sweet and sour dish.

1. What is Bitter Melon?

Cut bitter melon
Julie Toy/Photodisc/Getty Images
What can you say about a gourd that resembles a cucumber with a pockmarked skin, and has a strong, chalky taste? Nonetheless, like many others, I am a fan of bitter melon. Learn more about this popular Asian vegetable.

2. How to Prepare Bitter Melon

Got some bitter melon from the Chinese/Asian market and aren't sure what to do with it? Here are step by step instructions, with photos, showing how to prepare this popular Asian gourd for use in stir-fries and other dishes. For those who find bitter melon's strong chalky flavor a bit overpowering, I've included instructions on how to degorge it.

3. Pork With Bitter Melon

Pork With Bitter Melon
Rhonda Parkinson
The salty, pungent flavor of Chinese fermented black beans (also called salted black beans) pairs nicely with bitter melon in this stir-fry that includes seasoned pork. This recipe is reader-rated at five out of five stars.

4. Bitter Melon Stir-fry

A simple stir-fry pairing bitter melon with a variety of seasonings, including soy sauce and chili pepper flakes. A reader gives the recipe five out of five stars, saying: "It's light, yet so yummy. Perfect for a healthy diet."

5. Stuffed Bitter Melon (Bharvaan Karela)

In this Indian recipe, bitter melon is stuffed with a tangy filling made with tomatoes and an assortment of spices commonly featured in Indian cooking.

6. Karela Chips (Bitter Melon Chips)

In this recipe the gourd is sprinkled with turmeric before deep-frying, then sprinkled with chat masala and hot chili powder before serving. Another recipe from Petrina Sakar, our About.com Guide to Indian Food.

7. Sweet and Sour Bitter Gourd

The sweet and sour taste comes from a variety of seasonings used in Indian cooking, including mango powder.

8. Bitter Melon Stuffed With Minced Meat

In this Indian dish bitter melon is stuffed with Masala Kheema - ground beef seasoned with an assortment of spices, including garlic paste, ginger paste, coriander powder and cumin powder - before being fried in oil.

9. Bitter Melon For Diabetes Management

While bitter melon is used in Asian traditional medicine to treat a variety of symptoms, in the west it is probably best known for its use in helping to lower blood sugar levels. But just how effective is bitter melon in diabetes management? Dr. Mark Stibich, former About.com Guide, explores the role bitter melon may play in treating diabetes.

The Safety and Effectiveness of Treating Diabetes With Bitter Melon -Stacey Hugues, Contributing Writer to the About.com Type 2 Diabetes guidesite, explores this issue further.

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