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Sautéed Bitter Melon (Fried Karaila).

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.