Pickled Bitter Melons

A few months ago, I ordered some pickled cucumbers to complement a glass of drafted hard mango cider. I didn’t know what it was called, but I loved the crunchiness of the cucumbers with a slightly sweet and sour flavor. It went well with the drink.

Last week, I wanted to recreate something like that, but with bitter melon instead. I searched for Korean pickled cucumbers and came across this video on YouTube. I modified the recipe a bit and made two batches of pickled bitter melons. In addition to the crunchy and vinegary taste, I loved the bittersweet flavor from the melon. It might not be suitable for anyone who can’t handle the bitter taste, but that is the reason I made it.


  • 3 bitter melons
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of purée garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoon of honey
  • .25 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 chilly peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped green scallions
  • 1 cup of water

Split the bitter melon in half, scrape the seeds off with a spoon, and slice them into big chunks. Place the chopped pieces into a big bowl, add 2 tablespoons of sea salt, and mix them up. Set it aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

In another bowl, add purée garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey, lemon zest, salt, chili peppers, scallions, and water. Stir everything up well and sprinkle some freshly ground black peppers. Taste to your liking.

Rinse the bitter melons with cold water to remove the salt, place them in a container, and pour in the liquid. Let it sit in the fridge for 12 hours. Enjoy!