Week 38: Pickled Bitter Melon

Despite repeated warnings I found online that bitter melon is most definitely an acquired taste, it was such an eye-catching, funky-looking item I kept seeing at the farmers market so I decided to pickle it. I have to say, pickled bitter melon is also an acquired taste and while I ignorantly expected the pickling to dull the – you guessed it – bitter taste, it didn’t fully do that and I don’t know if these are gonna be a huge hit amongst my fellow pickle fiends slash fans.

BUT it’s good to experiment every so often and bitter melons are cheap AF so this wasn’t a huge strain on my resources. Definitely tried to go with some Asian flavors here – rice vinegar, ginger – might tweak in the future with more salt and/or sugar but without further ado, here’s the pickled bitter melon recipe I made this week.


Pickled Bitter Melon Recipe

Makes 2 pints

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp pickling salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper per pint
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger per pint
  • 2-3 medium-sized bitter melons

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Instructions:

  • Cut off ends of bitter melons then cut in half length-wise. Remove inner seeds and white pith with a spoon.

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  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Slice bitter melon halves into “C”s, about 1/4-inch thick.

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  • Once water is boiling, parboil bitter melon pieces for about 30 seconds until just tender and they turn a brighter green. This will hopefully remove some of the bitter taste.

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  • Drain bitter melon and let cool in an ice bath to stop cooking process.

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  • While bitter melon pieces are cooling, bring the measured water, rice vinegar, sugar and salt to a low boil until salt and sugar are fully dissolved.

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  • Once cooled, drain bitter melon from ice bath. Add red pepper and ginger pieces to jar(s).

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  • Add bitter melon to jar(s). Cover with rice vinegar brine.

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  • Cover with lids, shake to distribute red pepper and ginger pieces.

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  • Allow to cool and secure again with lid.

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  • Recommended use: TBH, even when pickled, these have a pretty powerful taste of bitter melon essence. I would let sit for at least a week before trying them out.

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2 thoughts on “Week 38: Pickled Bitter Melon

  • May 16, 2017 at 11:19 am
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    This looks like a very interesting recipe! I’ve never tried bitter melon, let alone pickled bitter melon! If it is truly an acquired taste that is something that sounds intriguing. I want to try it for myself and see if its a taste I can acquire! Thanks for sharing your recipe. The pictures are great!

    Reply
    • May 16, 2017 at 4:23 pm
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      Thanks! Let me know what you think – this wasn’t my favorite recipe of everything I’ve done so far. I love your website, btw 🙂

      Reply

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