Bitter melon is also known as bitter gourd. It looks like a very bumpy long cucumber and grows in hot and humid climates such South America. Bitter melon is high in many of the B vitamins and Vitamin C, plus magnesium, zinc and potassium. Bitter melon is low in calories, and while it has a bitter taste, it can be added to other foods and drinks to obviate the bitterness. Bitter melon is considered a boon for people with many illnesses, including blood disorders and diabetes. Storing bitter melon for the long term can be done with easily found items.
Buy the freshest, firmest, bright green bitter melons you can find. Avoid vegetables that are soft or have black spots in the skin.
Wash the bitter melon under cool water when you bring it home. Let drip dry until there is no more water on the skin.
Place the bitter melons in a zip-type storage bag and place in the crisper of your refrigerator as soon as they are dry.
Slice the melons in half lengthwise on a cutting board using a very sharp knife. Dust the halves with some table salt and let the melon bleed out some of the bitter juices.
Rinse the melons under cool water and pat dry. Use the raw melon within four days of purchase or mix with two cloves of garlic, one chili pepper and stir fry in peanut oil with a little soy sauce in a wok until tender. You can freeze this for a month in an airtight container.
Refrigerate raw melon before eating.
Based in West Windsor, N.J., Sarah Silverman has been writing computer- and electronics-related articles since 1990. Her articles have appeared in “Wired” and “Ericsson” magazines. She received the Kim Swiss Award in 2006. Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Rochester in New York.