Bitter melon is also known as bitter gourd, bitter squash or balsam-pear. It's a bitter exotic vegetable and it originates from Asia. This plant can be easily grown in our colder climate, inside a greenhouse or hothouse. It's quite unknown in the Netherlands, but it's often used in Asian cuisine. Ripe fruits are less bitter than unripe ones. The outside of the fruits turns lighter and yellow when the fruit ripens. You can cook, stir-fry, steam or stew this vegetable. The bitter flavour of bitter melon combines well with shrimps, peppers, minced meat, tomatoes, bell peppers, sugar and chicken. It's important to counteract the bitter flavour of this vegetable with the use of spice or something sweet.