Bread & Butter Bitter Melon Pickles


One of our shareholders mentioned the idea of turning bitter melon into bread and butter pickles and I knew I had to make a version myself. I adapted this recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Do-It-Yourself Cookbook (which I highly recommend!). You get the typical sweet-sour notes up front with bitterness from the melon on the back end. I have yet to use it with anything but here is a nice list of suggested uses. I think adding it to a German potato salad sounds pretty amazing!

I purchased fresh turmeric from Sequatchie Cove Farm at the Main Street Farmers Market last week. I used it here but feel free to use 1/4 teaspoon dried turmeric in its place. Enjoy!

Bread & Butter Bitter Melon Pickles
makes about 1 pint


  • 1/2 pound bitter melon, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed and sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced through root end into 1/8″ thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seeds
  • Pinch ground cloves


  • Toss bitter melon, onion and salt together in a colander and set over the sink or a bowl. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour. Rinse and drain vegetables well.
  • Bring vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, celery seeds and cloves to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer pickles to a pint sized jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour hot brine over pickles and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days before eating. Pickles can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.

One thought on “Bread & Butter Bitter Melon Pickles

  1. Pingback: Weekly Farm Notes :: November 2nd, 2016 | Tant Hill Farm

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