We use bitter melon/bitter gourd for making curry. We boil bitter gourd in water couple of times to remove bitterness which is very time consuming.

Is there any better way to remove bitterness?

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  • 1
    Cooking in a microwave, as opposed to stir frying reduces bitterness. I've never tried boiling, so can't compare. Apr 17, 2016 at 1:34

2 Answers 2


Some people claim you can reduce the bitterness of eggplant by slicing it then salting the slices, wrapping in a clean cloth, and putting some weight on it. The salt draws out moisture. It's possible a similar technique would work with your bitter melon, although I had never heard of it before your question. It might not save much time, but you wouldn't have to watch them while doing the salt treatment.

  • This does work with bitter melon; I have done it many times. It's a good idea to then soak it in fresh water afterwards to remove as much salt as possible and rehydrate the outer surface - time permitting
    – canardgras
    Mar 13, 2017 at 8:52
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    Technical term is "degorging", not to be confused with "disgorging" (which could happen with a dish where the bitter melon was insufficiently degorged) :) Also a well known technique with eggplants. Mar 13, 2017 at 11:46

My mom uses this technique with cucumbers and bitter melon. Slice off the tip of the bitter melon. Then put the tip back on. Now rub the cut surfaces together in a circular motion. This draws out the moisture and bitterness from the cucumber and bitter melon.

I also heard that the longer you cook the bitter melon, the more bitter it will taste. So boiling it many times may actually make it taste more bitter.

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