About This Recipe
Note: Much of the fruit’s bitterness lives in the seeds. To remove them, halve each melon, then scoop the seeds and yellow flesh out with a small spoon. Cut into thin crescent moons.
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 (40 g) small shallot, minced
- 3 (10 g) garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 to 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper, seeded for less heat and minced
- 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 large (about 1 lb / 450 g) bitter melons, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch slices (see note)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Squeeze of lemon juice
Step 1Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, pepper, and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 2Add the melon slices and stir to coat. Add the salt and stir again. Continue to cook the melon, stirring every few minutes, until soft and browned, about 15 minutes. It might appear as if it’s too dry in the beginning. Don’t fret; as the melon cooks down it will release some liquid.
Step 3Remove from the heat, squeeze in some lemon juice and taste for salt. This dish can be served immediately, at room temperature, or reheated the next day.
Substitutions: If Scotch bonnet peppers are not available, habaneros can be used, though their flavor is not as deep
Try It With: Trinidadian dhal and basmati rice
Zero Waste: Should you be lucky enough to get your melons straight from the plant, the leaves can be used as a medicinal tea, thought to aid with stomach issues