Bitter Melon Noodles

by - November 14, 2011

As a kid there was no way my mom was ever going to get me to eat bitter melon except by hiding it in mountains of egg noodles with thick tasty broth.  Thirty years later it is still the only way. 

I have to admit that I don't like bitter melon at all. However, I know it's really good for my health just like other bitter vegetables. It boosts our metabolism and acts as powerful antioxidant. In my mission to like bitter melon, I searched high and low for ways to make it less bitter. Then I found that parboiling it with some salt will make its distinctive flavor less powering. 

So today I am sharing with you one of the most popular forms of Thai noodles, Bitter Melon Noodles.

Bitter Melon Noodles are noodles served in aromatic thick chicken broth containing 
cinnamon ,star arise and bitter melon. The toppings include some crispy parboiled bitter melon and tender juicy steamed chicken. If you are a true fan of bitter melon, I am sure you will love these noodles.

2 chicken carcass (500 grams)
1/4 cabbage
300 grams chicken wings
2,500 ml. water
2 cinnamon sticks
4-5 star arise
3-4 cilantro roots, pounded 
5-6 cloves of garlic, pounded 
2 tablespoon Thai sweet soy sauce
9 tablespoon Thai light soy sauce
2 tablespoon rock sugar 
100 grams bitter melon 
steamed chicken
bean sprouts 
some parboiled bitter , thinly slice  

egg noodles 
fried garlic
cilantro to garnish 


Place the chicken carcass, cabbage, cinnamon sticks,star arise, cilantro roots and garlic  in a stock pot, cover with water. Add in Thai sweet soy, light soy sauce, rock sugar, simmer for 3 hours.

Scoop out the brown foam from the broth.

Cut the bitter melon in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Cut into 2"X 2" square. Set aside

With another pot, bring water to the boil, add some salt and the bitter melon. After 1-2 minutes, dish out the bitter melon, disregard the water.   

Add the bitter melon, chicken wings to the stock pot, simmer for 1 hour. 

Do the final seasoning, if needed. 

Bring water to the boil, add in egg noodles. Cook until soft but still firm to the bite. Rinse  the noodles in cold water. Place the noodles in a sieve to get rid of excess water. 

Then place the noodles in a serving bowl, top with steamed chicken, chicken wings, parboiled bitter melon, bean sprouts. 

Ladle the hot stock over the noodles. Serve immediately. 

Now you have a bowl of bitter melon noodles in front of you. You can start eating right away or add condiments to spice up a little. ( Thai noodle dishes are usually accompanied with condiments of four different flavors – crushed red chili in vinegar (mild spicy and sourly), dried chilli powder (harsh spicy), fish sauce and sugar.


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  1. Delicious looking noodles. I haven't had noodles for a while and suddenly I got big craving. I've never used bitter melon before. I heard it's a lot easier to get in Kanto area. When I was growing up we didn't really see them and can only get it in Okinawa. Looks yummy!

  2. @Nami
    These days it's so easy to get bitter melon in Kanto area and some people even have it in their garden. Maybe it just becomes more popular.