Garden to Table–Bitter Melon (Goya) Salad

Close up of a bittermelon flower.

My bitter melon vines are starting to grow and produce fruit. I’m so happy to be able to create dishes from produce I harvest from my garden.  I can’t wait until my eggplants are ready to harvest.  It will be some time before that happens since they are just seedlings right now.IMG_9388

Anyway, I see a few baby bitter melon fruits growing on the vine and found only one that was ready to pick. Since I didn’t have enough to make either a goya champuru or a stir-fry with black bean sauce, I was deciding on what to do with my one bitter melon.  I sat at my dining room table and got distracted by my Marukai sale ad that had just come in the mail.  I love looking at all the Asian goods on sale at Marukai.  img_5296As I flipped through the ad, I came across a recipe for a bitter melon salad towards the back of the ad. It was perfect for just one bitter melon.  In addition to the recipe, the article talked about all the health benefits of eating bitter melon including managing blood sugar, enhancing body immunity, relieving asthma, reducing cholesterol levels, and promoting good digestion. I love eating yummy foods that are supposed to make me healthier.

img_5295Here is the super simple recipe.

Bitter Melon (Goya) Salad


1 bitter melon
2 T shoyu
2 T mirin
2 t sesame oil

  1. Wash the bitter melon thoroughly under running water.
  2. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and the white lining.  (Save the seeds and plant in your backyard.)
  3. Cut the bitter melon into thin slices and boil briefly in water then rinse in iced water.
  4. Mix the bitter melon slices with the sauce and refrigerate.
  5. Garnish with the katsuobushi before serving.


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