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10 Best Bitter Melon Recipes for Summer

These unique bitter melon recipes are sure to perk up your weekly dinner routine.

Also known as karela, you can use this unique fruit in various recipes. But of course, it works best in Asian meals.

Stir-Fried Bitter Melon with Pork, Tofu and Egg
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First, you need to carefully cut the outer layer off and discard the seeds and fibrous center.

From there, it’s unbelievably easy to prepare.

While you can eat it raw, it’s best to cook it to help mellow out the sour and bitter flavors – though it’ll still be pretty bitter!

So, if you like strong umami notes in your food, you’ll love these bitter melon recipes.

Easy Bitter Melon Stir Fry and More!

1. Bitter Melon Stir Fry

This bitter melon stir fry tastes great alone or with chicken or beef in the mix.

The sugar helps tone down the bitterness, while the garlic pairs flawlessly with the melon’s natural taste.

It’s a low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat dish that takes just 30 minutes to make. (Adding meat will add more calories and fat.) 

If you like earthy, zesty meals with a little chili pepper kick, you’ll love it.

It’s also incredibly filling, so you’ll stay full and satisfied for longer.

2. Bitter Melon with Egg

This healthy egg dish is a Chinese staple for breakfast or lunch.

It combines bitter melon, scrambled eggs, and various Asian sauces to create a biting, robust flavor that’s hard to describe but easy to enjoy.

The savory flavor of the eggs is an excellent complement to the melon’s bitterness. And it couldn’t be easier to make.

If you can scramble eggs, then you can make this dish.

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3. Braised Stuffed Bitter Melon in Black Bean Sauce

If you’ve never had bitter melon before, be warned: it’s bitter. As mentioned, cooking does tone that down, but there’s no denying its strong taste.

It’s a unique vegetable with slightly sour notes that really isn’t for everyone.

That said, this braised stuffed bitter melon recipe is so phenomenal, I think your whole family will love it. 

The salty, savory black bean sauce pairs wonderfully with the melon’s sourness.

So, try this recipe if you want something different to add to your dinner rotation! 

4. Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup

Are you looking for a new, exciting soup to try this fall? Why not give stuffed bitter melon soup a go!?

This recipe is packed full of flavor and is perfect for chilly days. Plus, it’s easy to make and is as healthy as it is yummy.

I’ll admit that it looks a little strange – unlike most soups we’re used to eating.

Luckily, it’s the textbook definition of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’ It’s a hearty, delicious soup that’s sure to warm your bones.

5. Bitter Melon Soup with Pork Bones

Stuffed bitter melon soup is a Vietnamese favorite. But this bitter melon-based soup is more popular in China. 

It features large, flavorful chunks of meaty pork bones with bitter melon, pearl barley, and plenty of ginger.

It’s the kind of soup that’ll combat winter colds and soothe aching throats. Luckily, it tastes fantastic while it’s doing all those good things! 

The broth is a little thinner than I usually like. Fortunately, the big chunks of meat and melon make up for that.

6. Pinakbet

Do you love veggies and want to try something new? Check out this recipe for pinakbet.

It’s a classic Filipino dish with pork belly and an insane amount of veggies. 

Besides the bitter melon, there’s also onions, tomatoes, squash, okra, and more. If garden vegetables are in season, this recipe is ideal.

It’s naturally low in carbs and has a decent amount of protein.

You’ll use shrimp paste to cover the bitterness of the melon. It also provides a wallop of umami flavor.

Give it a try if you’re in the mood for a nutritious meat and veggies dish.

7. Goya Champuru

Goya champuru is Japanese comfort food at its finest. It’s a simple stir-fry with bitter melon, pork belly, eggs, and tofu. 

It has a warm, slightly bitter flavor that somehow still tastes great. Every forkful is salty, savory, and exceptionally hearty. 

Better yet, you can pull it together in about 40 minutes with only ten ingredients.

It’s excellent for when you can’t choose between Asian and soul food.

8. Bitter Melon Tacos

These colorful, sweet-n-savory tacos aren’t your average Tex-Mex faves.

They have a lot more spice and seasoning, for one thing. They’re also vegetarian-friendly and overloaded with contrasting flavors.

They somehow hit every flavor profile there is – sweet, savory, bitter, umami-packed, and more.

And did I mention they’re good for people with diabetes? Yeah, these tasty tacos are hard to beat.

9. Beef with Bitter Melon

Of all the recipes on this list, this one has the most bitter melon flavor. It’s a savory, saucy dish that proudly showcases the unique taste. 

So, if you’re trying bitter melon for the first time, I don’t recommend it. Instead, start slower, with something that’s not as strong.

Then work your way up to this recipe, which is geared more toward those who genuinely love the fruit’s bitter taste.

If that sounds like you, then give this one a try. It’s pretty good if you’re already a fan.

10. Bitter Melon Salad

This vegetarian-friendly salad is healthy, nutty, and mild.

Yes, I said mild. The bitter melon barely has any bite at all in this dish.

It’s a simple, 20-minute salad combining bitter melon and tofu. You’ll also add soy sauce and some seasonings, but those are the two main ingredients. 

The soy sauce adds richness, the sugar complements the melon, and the fresh ginger adds a nice heat. 

Toss in some salt, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, and you’re all set. It’s a quick and easy lunch option that anyone could make.

10 Best Ways To Cook Bitter Melon

These unique bitter melon recipes are sure to perk up your weekly dinner routine. And while it pairs well in many recipes, it works best in Asian meals.


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious bitter melon recipe in 30 minutes or less!

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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