Bitter gourd (also known as bitter melon)  is a vegetable-fruit that has a distinct taste and flavor. The taste is bitter and most people do not like it. However it can be a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals.  Bitter gourd can be used as both a food ingredient or ‘medicine’. It is used as a herbal remedy for a range of ailments, especially for type 2 diabetes as it contains substances that help to reduce blood sugar levels.

If you are one who do not take to the bitter taste, there are solutions to it. One of the most effective ways to reduce the bitterness is to use salt to rub onto the bitter gourd slices and leave to stand for 10 to 20 minutes. Then after to wash off the salt under running water and squeeze out the juices before cooking.

This soup is known to have a cooling effect, so it is normally drank during hot weather to reduce the heatiness in the body system.


Prep time 10 mins

Cook time 1.5 hours

Serves 4


  • 300g pork ribs
  • 1 medium sized bitter gourd
  • 1.5 litres water
  • 8 red dates
  • 1 tbsp wolf berries soaked in water until puffy; drained
  • salt to taste

Method for cooking Bitter gourd Soup

  1. Prepare the ingredients.
    Step by step for the bitter gourd soup recipe
  2. Blanch the pork ribs in boiling water for about 5 minutes, to remove the scum. This is so that you have clear soup later. Set aside the blanched pork ribs.
    Blanch the pork ribs to remove the scum
  3. Cut the bitter gourd in half lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and white pulp. Cut into large chunks. Rub some salt on the interior to remove some of the bitterness. Leave to stand for 10 mins before washing off the salt.
    Cutting and cleaning the bitter gourd
  4. In a large pot, add all the ingredients except the wolf berries. When the water comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for an hour and half.
  5. Add wolf berries in the last 5 minutes of simmering.
  6. Season with salt to taste.


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