Fried Bitter Gourd Salad Recipe from Cambodia

Fried Bitter Gourd Salad

Fried Bitter Gourd Salad Recipe from Cambodia
Region / culture: Cambodia | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Fried Bitter Gourd Salad
Fried Bitter Gourd Salad

Fried Bitter Gourd Salad is a unique and flavorful dish that combines the bitterness of the gourd with the sweetness of coconut cream and lime juice. This dish is popular in many Southeast Asian countries and is often served as a side dish or appetizer.


The origins of Fried Bitter Gourd Salad can be traced back to traditional Asian cuisine, where bitter gourd is a commonly used ingredient. The combination of bitter gourd with lime juice, coconut cream, and spices creates a delicious and refreshing salad that is both healthy and flavorful.


How to prepare

  1. Wash and dry bitter gourds.
  2. Cut the bitter gourds into slices that are approximately 6 mm (0.25 in) thick.
  3. Place the slices on a platter and sprinkle salt and turmeric on one side. Then, flip the slices over and sprinkle on the other side.
  4. Allow the slices to sit for 20 minutes, then pat them dry with paper towels.
  5. In a heavy frying pan, heat enough oil to cover the base. Place the bitter gourd slices in the oil in a single layer.
  6. Cook the slices on medium heat until they turn golden underneath. Then, flip the slices over and cook the other side.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked slices to paper towels.
  8. Lightly mix the slices with shallots and chillies.
  9. Dissolve sugar in lime juice and pour it over the salad.
  10. Just before serving, spoon coconut cream over the salad.


  • Add diced tomatoes or cucumbers for added freshness.
  • Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds or crushed peanuts on top for extra crunch.
  • Drizzle with soy sauce or fish sauce for a savory twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to slice the bitter gourd thinly and evenly to ensure even cooking.

- Pat dry the bitter gourd slices after sprinkling with salt and turmeric to remove excess moisture.

- Use a heavy frying pan and cook the bitter gourd slices on medium heat to prevent burning.

- Add the coconut cream just before serving to maintain its creamy texture.

Serving Suggestions

Fried Bitter Gourd Salad can be served as a side dish with rice or as an appetizer with other Asian dishes.

Cooking Techniques


- Slicing

- Mixing

Ingredient Substitutions

Substitute coconut cream with Greek yogurt for a lighter option.

- Use olive oil instead of peanut oil for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

Fried Bitter Gourd Salad is best served fresh, but you can prepare the bitter gourd slices ahead of time and fry them just before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Fried Bitter Gourd Salad in a decorative bowl or on a platter garnished with fresh herbs or edible flowers for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Fried Bitter Gourd Salad pairs well with grilled meats, seafood dishes, or vegetarian curries.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Fried Bitter Gourd Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a frying pan or microwave before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Fried Bitter Gourd Salad contains approximately 200 calories.


Each serving of Fried Bitter Gourd Salad contains approximately 10 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Fried Bitter Gourd Salad contains approximately 15 grams of fats.


Each serving of Fried Bitter Gourd Salad contains approximately 5 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Fried Bitter Gourd Salad is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium.


This recipe contains coconut cream, which may be an allergen for some individuals.


Fried Bitter Gourd Salad is a nutritious dish that is high in fats and carbohydrates, making it a satisfying and flavorful option for a side dish or appetizer.


Fried Bitter Gourd Salad is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines the bitterness of the gourd with the sweetness of coconut cream and lime juice. This recipe is easy to make and can be customized with different ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy this flavorful salad as a side dish or appetizer for a unique and satisfying meal.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately intrigued. It was a hot summer day, and I was visiting my friend Maria's house. We sat in her cozy kitchen, sipping on iced tea and chatting about our favorite dishes. Maria suddenly got up and pulled out a basket of fresh bitter gourds from her garden.

"I'm going to make my famous Fried Bitter Gourd Salad," she announced with a smile.

I had never tried bitter gourd before, but I was always up for trying something new. As Maria sliced the gourds and prepared the ingredients, I watched in awe. The aroma of garlic and spices filled the kitchen, making my stomach rumble with anticipation.

"Would you like to help me make it?" Maria asked, handing me a knife and a cutting board.

I eagerly accepted, eager to learn the secrets of this unique dish. Maria patiently taught me each step, from marinating the bitter gourd slices in salt to frying them to a perfect crispiness. As we tossed in the fresh herbs and squeezed in some lime juice, the salad came together beautifully.

We sat down at the table and dug into our creation. The first bite was a revelation - the bitterness of the gourd was balanced perfectly by the tangy dressing and crunchy texture. I couldn't believe how delicious it was.

"Maria, this is amazing!" I exclaimed, my taste buds dancing with joy.

She smiled, pleased with my reaction. "I learned this recipe from my grandmother, who learned it from her mother. It's been passed down through generations in my family."

I was fascinated by the idea of a recipe with such a rich history. Maria went on to tell me about how her ancestors used bitter gourd not just for its unique flavor, but also for its health benefits. She explained how it was believed to aid digestion, reduce inflammation, and even lower blood sugar levels.

As I savored each bite of the salad, I felt a sense of connection to Maria's family and their culinary traditions. I knew that I had to learn how to make this dish for myself, so I asked Maria to teach me the recipe.

Over the next few weeks, I visited Maria's kitchen regularly, honing my skills and perfecting the Fried Bitter Gourd Salad. I experimented with different spices and variations, making the dish my own while still honoring the original recipe.

As I became more confident in my cooking abilities, I started sharing the salad with my own friends and family. They were amazed by the bold flavors and unique combination of ingredients. Some were hesitant to try the bitter gourd at first, but after one bite, they were hooked.

My grandmother, who had always been my inspiration in the kitchen, was especially impressed by my newfound culinary talent. She shared stories of her own experiences with bitter gourd, recounting how she used to forage for wild gourds in the countryside and cook them over an open flame.

One day, as we sat together in her cozy kitchen, I decided to surprise her with a batch of my Fried Bitter Gourd Salad. I watched her face light up with delight as she took her first bite.

"This is delicious, my dear," she said, her eyes twinkling with pride. "You have truly mastered the art of cooking."

I beamed with joy, knowing that I had made my grandmother proud. I realized that cooking was not just about following a recipe, but about connecting with the past and creating memories that would last a lifetime.

Now, whenever I make Fried Bitter Gourd Salad, I think of Maria, my grandmother, and all the wonderful people who have shared their culinary wisdom with me. Each bite is a reminder of the love and care that goes into creating a delicious dish, and I am grateful for the experiences that have led me to this moment.

As I sit at my kitchen table, savoring the flavors of the salad that has become a family favorite, I feel a sense of fulfillment and contentment. I may have learned this recipe from others, but it is now a part of my own culinary repertoire, ready to be passed down to future generations.

And so, I continue to cook, to experiment, and to share my love of food with those around me. For in the kitchen, there is magic to be found, and stories to be told, all through the simple act of preparing a delicious meal.


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