Forest Bitter Melon Soup with Notopterus notopterus Pallas

Forest bitter melon soup with notopterus pallas

Here’s the recipe for Canh Khổ Qua Rừng Cá Thác Lác (Forest Bitter Melon Soup with Notopterus notopterus Pallas): It is a special rustic dish of Eastern and Western Vietnam, very delicious and full of regional characteristics.


  • 2 domestic bitter melons, washed and thinly sliced, soaked in cold water to reduce bitterness.
  • 200 grams of wild bitter melons, seeded, washed with salt water, soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes to reduce bitterness. Rinse and drain, then split open on one side.
  • 300 grams of fish paste (Cá Thác Lác), seasoned with finely chopped shallots, pepper, chili, and other spices to taste.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 500 grams of pork bones or ribs
  • Seasoning powder, salt, spices
  • Cooking oil
  • Water
  • Chilli
  • A little bit of chopped green onions and cilantro, washed and finely chopped
Forest bitter melon soup with notopterus pallas
The Forest Bitter Melon Soup with Notopterus notopterus pallas


  1. Simmer the pork bones or ribs to make the broth.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a pan, then sauté the chopped garlic until fragrant.
  3. Stuff the seasoned fish paste into the wild bitter melons.
  4. Place the stuffed wild bitter melons into the prepared broth. Add seasoning, salt, and a bit of green onions. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes until the bitter melons are cooked.
  5. When serving, add the thinly sliced domestic bitter melons and some herbs like the tender leaves of wild bitter melon for garnish.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with green onions or cilantro as desired.
  7. You can also use a mini stove to enjoy this dish like a hotpot.
  8. The accompanying dipping sauce is pure fish sauce sprinkled with a little chili and pepper
  9. This dish is served with small noodles, instant noodles or rice

Note: The Forest Bitter Melon Soup with Notopterus notopterus Pallas is sweet and refreshing, making it perfect for rainy days. It is both warm and cool, nutritious, and delicious.

Forest Bitter Melon Tea - Tea Supports Diabetes - Free Ship
Forest Bitter Melon Tea – Tea Supports Diabetes – Free Ship

Bitter Melon (Wild) – An Overview and Benefits


Wild bitter melon, also known as forest bitter melon, grows on mountain slopes, absorbing rich nutrients from the earth and sky. It is considered a superfood in traditional folk medicine, known for its health benefits, including cancer prevention and diabetes treatment.


The wild bitter melon has an elongated shape, similar to the domestic variety but smaller, measuring about 8-10 cm in length. Its skin is covered with protruding bumps, and the fresh fruit is dark green, turning yellow-pink when ripe. Typically, dried wild bitter melon is preferred due to its milder bitterness, longer shelf life, and retained medicinal properties.

Health Benefits of Wild Bitter Melon:
  1. Heat Reduction, Detoxification, and Anti-inflammation:
    • With its bitter taste and cooling properties, wild bitter melon is used in many traditional remedies. It is excellent for liver detoxification, reducing phlegm, and alleviating persistent coughs.
  2. Treatment of Skin Issues:
    • The detoxifying properties of wild bitter melon make it effective for treating skin conditions such as boils and prickly heat. It can be consumed as tea or used in baths. Boil 10 grams of leaves and stems with 2 liters of water, mix with some cold water, and use it to bathe for cleaner, cooler skin.
  3. Effective in Treating Hyperpigmentation:
    • Wild bitter melon is a natural herb that helps eliminate and prevent melanin production, which causes dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The antioxidants and free radical inhibitors in bitter melon provide safe and effective skincare benefits.
  4. Weight Loss Aid:
    • Low in calories and high in fiber, wild bitter melon helps reduce body fat by promoting digestion and reducing appetite. Its amino acids neutralize fats, preventing their accumulation, making it an excellent ingredient for weight loss drinks.
  5. Beneficial for Gout Patients:
    • The active components in wild bitter melon help reduce uric acid levels, effectively preventing and treating gout without any side effects.
  6. Diabetes Management:
    • Containing compounds like vicine, polypeptide-p, and charantin, wild bitter melon helps lower blood sugar levels. Its proteins aid in converting excess sugar into energy, thus stabilizing blood glucose levels over time.
  7. Blood Pressure Regulation and Atherosclerosis Prevention:
    • The charantin in wild bitter melon reduces triglycerides and cholesterol, breaking down plaque in the arteries. This helps prevent atherosclerosis, lower blood fat levels, and reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
  8. Cancer and Tumor Prevention:
    • Rich in vitamin C and protein, wild bitter melon boosts the immune system, combating harmful cells that cause cancer and tumors. In a 1999 study by Indian scientists, cancer patients in the early stages showed significant reduction in cancer cells after consuming wild bitter melon extract for two months.

Some other information you need to know about forest bitter melon


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