11 Best Bitter Gourd Substitutes: Which One Is The Best For You?

Bitter gourd is often grown in warm regions such as Okinawa.

Goya Chanpuru, an Okinawan dish, is also increasingly being eaten in many parts of Japan.

However, unlike most other vegetables, bitter gourd is not available at any supermarket at a reasonable price all year round.

It is often too expensive to buy.

I can’t buy bitter gourd because it’s too expensive. What should I do…?😩😩😩

But I really want to eat bitter gourd stir-fry! In such a case, what ingredients can I substitute?

In this article, I’ll introduce you to some of the substitute vegetables for bitter gourd that can be useful in times of trouble, so please take a look!

The nutrients contained in bitter gourd and why it goes well with stir-fried dishes

Bitter gourd is a vegetable known for its unique bitterness, but in fact, one of its characteristics that should not be overlooked is its rich vitamin C content.

Vitamin C plays an essential role in the construction of collagen and is a nutrient that is involved in various biological functions, but it is not suitable for boiling because it dissolves in water, and it is also weak against heat, making it difficult to consume efficiently.

Bitter gourd has been attracting attention.

In fact, it is known that the vitamin C contained in bitter gourd does not break down easily when it is heated.

For this reason, stir-fried dishes such as champuru are recommended, as they can be eaten in larger quantities than raw foods, and the nutrients are less likely to dissolve in water.

11 Recommended vegetables that can be used instead of bitter gourd

Bitter gourd Substitute 1: Green Peppers

Green Peppers

Bitter gourd is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, and green pepper is a member of the Eggplant family, and they are not particularly similar in shape.

However, if you want to add them to your chanpuru instead of bitter gourd, I think the bittersweet-tasting “green bell pepper” is perfect.

Their bright green appearance and crunchy accent will add color to your dish and make them the star of your chanpuru.

All you have to do is cut the bell pepper into long strips and stir-fry it with other ingredients instead of bitter gourd.

Bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C and are resistant to heat.

Champuru is also a great way to consume nutrients such as beta-carotene, which goes well with oil and is absorbed more efficiently when stir-fried.

Substitute vegetables for bitter gourd 2: Komatsuna


The next vegetable to be introduced is komatsuna.

Its bright green color and bitterness are recommended points.

The stems have a good texture and will do a good job as a substitute for bitter gourd.

Komatsuna, which has little lye, does not need to be pre-cooked. Therefore, it is easy to cook.

After washing in cold water and cutting into bite-size pieces, you can add it to a pan and cook it with tofu.

Containing plenty of calcium, iron, and dietary fiber as well as vitamin C, komatsuna is an excellent vegetable in terms of nutrition.

Bitter gourd is in season in summer, but komatsuna is most delicious in winter.

If you suddenly feel like eating fried bitter gourd in winter, why not try fried komatsuna?

Substitute vegetables for bitter gourd 3: Potherb mustard

Potherb Mustard

Potherb mustard is often used as an ingredient in hot pots, but it is a vegetable that is delicious both as a salad and in stir-fries.

If you want to use it for stir-fries, adjust the heat so that it retains its characteristic crunchy texture.

Since it can be eaten raw, it can be stir-fried quickly without making it stick too much.

Enjoy the moderately spicy flavor and crispy texture.

Vegetable substitute for bitter gourd 4: Bean sprouts

Bean Sprouts

The crunchy texture of bean sprouts is indispensable for stir-frying vegetables and yakisoba.

If you can’t find bitter gourd, why not use inexpensive and wallet-friendly bean sprouts for stir-fries?

The color maybe a little subdued, but you can compensate for the lack of color by adding chives and other ingredients.

Also, depending on how you cook them, stir-fried bean sprouts may turn out watery.

When frying bean sprouts, it is recommended to soak them in plenty of water or hot water, then remove the water thoroughly and cook them for as short a time as possible.

The cooking time can be shortened by keeping the pan and oil warm and adjusting the heat to a high level.

If you can afford the extra time, you can coat the bean sprouts with oil before frying.

If you have time, you can coat the bean sprouts with oil before frying.

Substitute vegetables for bitter gourd 5: Cabbage


Cabbage, a familiar vegetable like bean sprouts, is also a great ingredient for stir-fries.

Cabbage, like bean sprouts, is a familiar vegetable, and like bitter gourd, it does not have a strong taste, which is a good thing for those who do not like bitter gourd and children.

In the spring, it is also recommended to use soft and fresh spring cabbage.

Substitute vegetables for bitter gourd 6: Carrots


Carrots, which are colorful and crunchy, can also be used as a substitute for bitter gourd.

To substitute, simply cut it into strips, strips, or any other desired size and stir-fry it with tofu or other ingredients.

Carrots are available at your local supermarket all year round, and since they are a standard vegetable, you are used to using them.

Even when you are busy, you can use it quickly and easily.

As mentioned above, the meaning of “chanpuru” is “a mixture of ingredients. If you don’t have bitter gourd, you can use any familiar vegetable left in the refrigerator!

Substitute vegetables for bitter gourd 7: Mustard greens

Salad Mustard Greens

Have you ever heard of a vegetable called “mustard greens”?

In Okinawa, it is familiarly called “Shimana” (island vegetable) and is also used in Champuru.

Its unique pungent taste may be as addictive as the bitterness of bitter gourd.

The salted version is often used for chanpuru, but there is also an easy recipe that calls for chopped and squeezed water to be stir-fried with tuna.

Please try to find your favorite way to cook it!

Substitute vegetable for bitter gourd 8: Green papaya

Green Papaya

The term “green papaya” refers to papayas that have been harvested before they are ripe.

In Okinawa and other warm regions, these green papayas are cooked and eaten like vegetables.

It is often used in chanpuru (stir-fries) and is named as a substitute for bitter gourd.

If you can get your hands on green papaya, try using it in your cooking as a substitute for bitter gourd.

If you can find green papaya, try using it as a substitute for bitter gourd.

Everyone’s Ideas (9-11)

  • Cucumber
  • Rape Blossoms
  • Spinach


It is known that vitamin C in bitter gourd does not break down easily even when heated, so stir-frying champuru is a recommended cooking method.

The following 11 vegetables are recommended as substitutes for bitter gourd. [Green pepper, komatsuna, mizuna, bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, mustard greens, green papaya, cucumber, rape blossoms, spinach].