Beef With Caraili (Bitter Melon)

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Usually I eat caraili by itself because of its bitter taste but when you have it in a dish like beef with caraili it takes on a different persona. Yes, beef with caraili is a little bitter but once you get over the bitterness, it is really great. Too besides, I’ll show you a method to get rid of most of the bitterness from the caraili so you can really enjoy the dish.

Anyhow, I believe most Trinis aren’t even supposed to mind this bitterness since it would have been an acquired taste by now. As in my case, I’m already accustomed to Zebapique which is even more bitter than caraili so I don’t mind at all.

When I encountered this method of cooking caraili I knew I just had to do it for you all. After all, caraili isn’t a foreign vegetable to us here on the island because we already eat caraili fried, raw, curried, stuffed and even in hot dishes such as mother in law.

And of course the health benefits are welcoming as well. After doing some research I found out that caraili also known as bitter gourd or bitter melon is used in treating diabetes. Certain chemicals found in the caraili actually has a positive effect in lowering blood glucose levels. In my book that’s a plus so why not use caraili in as much ways as possible.

As I was saying, this recipe was new to me because I wasn’t aware that caraili was used much in Chinese cooking. And, I was surprised at the taste in the end. The sweet and salt taste of the stir fry beef really complemented the bitterness of the caraili. That’s all I can describe about the dish but you will have to try it to taste what I mean. Here’s Beef with Caraili

Beef with Caraili Recipe

Beef with Caraili, beef with bitter melon, beef with bitter gourd


1 lg  or 2 medium caraili (cleaned & sliced)
½ lb beef (thinly sliced)
1 onion (thinly sliced)
1 tbsp ginger (grated)
3 cups water (to boil caraili)
1 tbsp oil (for stir fry)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce, divided
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup rice cooking wine or rum
½ tsp corn starch
1/2 tbsp sesame oil



Boil caraili in 3 cups water with ½ tsp salt added for 3 mins.

Note: This will get some of the bitterness out.






Season beef with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp soy sauce, pepper, corn starch, cooking wine and a little water.
Mix thoroughly and marinate for 10 minutes.




Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok . Add onion and ginger. Stir for 1 minute.




Add beef and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir evenly until beef changes colour and is completely cooked.

Note: This step is critical. You have to make sure the beef is cut into thin strips and is fully cooked. You should not see any blood in the meat when cooked.




 Add boiled caraili and keep stirring for 2 mins. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and mix thoroughly. Serve hot.


Well that’s it for this superb but simple recipe. This beef with caraili will tickle all your taste buds in one go; more to come.

Ah gone :)

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