Go to Razzle Dazzle welcome page. Tropical Vegetables

Bitter Gourd

Peria or Pare
Tagalog (Filipino):

Bitter gourd photo.
Bitter gourd
Amapalaya photo.
Bitter gourd

This vegetable has a variety of names, including bitter cucumber, bitter melon, and balsam pear. It is rather bitter in flavor. It looks somewhat like a bumpy cucumber, and grows on a vine like a cucumber. It is a good source of vitamins A and C.

The bitter taste can be a real problem. Young gourds are best, as they have the least bitterness. To further minimize the bitter flavor, the white central core and seeds are discarded. The flesh can also be soaked in salt water for up to an hour, then rinsed before cooking. We were told that you should minimize stirring while cooking, but we cannot confirm that this will help.

Bitter gourd is used in stews, stuffed with meats, fried with eggs, and mixed with pancit noodles. Gourd slices can be boiled in salty water before being added to soups.

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Avocado  |   Bamboo Shoot  |   Banana Bud  |   Long Bean  |   Breadfruit

Celery Cabbage  |   White Cabbage  |   Cassava  |   Chayote  |   Chili  |   Eggplant  |   Garlic

Ginger  |   Bitter Gourd  |   Lotus  |   Okra  |   Green Papaya  |   Spinach  |   Taro

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Jim and Jamie Richter, http://gotouring.com/razzledazzle/
Website designed and created by Lois Richter, expanded by Jim.
Created 6/2003. All photos are © 2003 Jim Richter.