Champuru (an Okinawan stir fried dish using bitter melon) is great, but how about using bitter melon in namul (Korean side dish) from time to time? It works well as a side dish with dinner or as a snack with beer.
Slice the bitter melon in half, and scoop out the seeds and pith with a spoon.
Slice the bitter melon thinly, less than 5 mm thick. If it's sliced too thickly, the bitterness is more pronounced, so alter the thickness to your liking.
Put the sliced bitter melon, a little water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Mix lightly and leave for about 10 minutes.
Mince the garlic and green chili peppers. If you touch the hot green chili peppers with your bare hands, it'll burn as if you were burnt, so I recommend wearing gloves.
Stir fry the garlic and chili peppers in the sesame oil in a frying pan over low heat.
Once the oil becomes fragrant, add the bitter melon. Stir fry over medium heat.
When the bitter melon has become semi-translucent and glossy, season with the salt, pepper and dashida. Adjust the amount of dashida to taste.
And it's done! Enjoy this with lots of rice or beer.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to increase my repertoire of bitter melon recipes.
How to lessen the bitterness of the bitter melon: 1. Add sugar to the salt in Step 3. 2. After treating the gourd with the sugar and salt, boil very briefly. I think that it's the bitterness that makes bitter melon what it is, so I only use salt to prep it.