When all danger of frost is past I will be growing bitter melon. I want to start some indoors this time to get a longer growing season. I have one melon I purchased at the market and will cook tomorrow or later tonight. My mouth is watering now!
Your mouth is watering over Momordica Charantia? I've tried it a few times and just haven't acquired the taste. And I've had no requests to grow it, so I'm not sure how long it should take from germination to harvest. Any hints?
I would say it takes about 4 months for me before I can eat the first one. Then they come fast up to the first frost. This might vary with the climate.
I have found that bitter melon greatly enhances the flavor of anything cooked with it.
I couldn't get germination last year but will try again soon. The Indian varieties are thinner fleshed than the asian varieties and can be deep fried like a potato chip
and makes it much easier to acquire the taste.
In the Saigon airport they sold Bitter Melon Tea tea bags. Not sure what part of the plant was being used for the tea, but it didn't sound appealing enough to try, even as a novelty.
I have not tried the smaller ones yet. I have read they are stronger flavored.
I think the tea bags probably contain the leaves. All parts of the plant are usable. They have many medicinal uses as well as nutritional. They are also an attractive vine. I will be starting some seeds indoors tomorrow for planting out after danger of frost is over in spring.
I still remember how when I was a little girl (soooooooo many years ago),how much I disliked Ampalaya. I found it too bitter. But we can't leave the dinner table unless we finish the Amapalaya serving in our plate. My grandma insists that it's very good for our health. She used to cook it just stir fried with shrimp and pork. As I grew older though, I learned other ways to cook it and get out some of the bitter taste. After you scrape out the seeds, thinly slice it, mix in like 1/8 cup of rock salt with it and start mixing and squeezing the mixture. Then wash out the mix with water and proceed with cooking. Now my children eat them with lesser bitter taste. It's very good cooked with ground pork or beef...thus the "Ampalaya con Carne" dish. By the way, we also cook the Ampalaya plants' new growth tips and flowers. They are not as bitter as the fruit.
I just read that the Taiwanese bitter melon has almost no bitterness compared to the Chinese or other bitter melons. Also, a lady on a cooking show said, for her recipe, only to use the light green one - she was very specific.
If anyone has this non-bitter Taiwan seed, I'm willing to trade !