Salted Bitter Melon and Green Tomatoes

Salted Bitter Melon and Green Tomatoes
If you can’t find green tomatoes, underripe red tomatoes taste great in this dish too.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

As its name promises, bitter melon is very bitter. Angela Dimayuga salts it to tame its bitterness and pairs it with raw tart, crisp green tomato. This dish is too intense to eat on its own; it serves to cut through the richness of buttery sauces, like the Habanero Beurre Blanc that is served with the Grilled Whole Fish.

Angela Dimayuga, creative director of the Standard International hotel group, shares her favorite Filipino-inspired recipes for a casual summer party with friends.

Salted Bitter Melon and Green Tomatoes
1 hour, largely unattended. Serves 4 to 6.


  • 1 bitter melon
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 green tomatoes or firm, unripe red tomatoes



Bitter melon
(Silvia Razgova / For the Times)

  1. Scrub the bitter melon clean and trim the ends. Halve the melon lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick half-moon slices.
  2. Place in a bowl, add 1 ½ tablespoons salt, and gently massage the salt into the bitter melon until evenly mixed. Let stand for at least 45 minutes.
  3. When ready to serve, cut the green tomatoes crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with salt. Lift the bitter melon out of any accumulated juices and arrange with the tomatoes.

Make Ahead
The salted bitter melon can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.