Sautéed Bitter Melon (Fried Karaila).

“Bitter melon (also known as karaila), is a vegetable that is widely used in various Asian cuisines. In the Caribbean it is particularly used in islands like Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Suriname but you can find them across the region in large quantities.” – Cynthia Nelson, Tastes Like Home

Sautéed Bitter Melon (Fried Karaila)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean
Author: Cynthia Nelson
  • 5 medium-sized bitter melons (Karaila), (approximately 4 cups)
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic , minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Minced hot pepper , to taste
  1. Prepare the bitter melon for cooking (see how to do it here).
  2. Heat oil in a shallow or deep frying pan. Add onions and cook gently for 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme and hot pepper; continue to cook gently for another minute.
  3. Add bitter melon and stir, mixing with sautéed aromatics. Cook uncovered on medium to low heat until cooked, turning intermittently.
  4. To determine when it’s done cooking, take a piece and bite into it, it should be soft. At the same time taste for seasoning (salt) if you’d put enough to taste at the onset, you should not need to add more, but taste just in case.
  5. Serve as a side dish.
Cynthia Nelson

Journalist, Cookbook Author, Lecturer, Photographer. I write about food and life in the Caribbean. My interest is in food and how it shapes our identity.

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