If you follow my Interesting Info category here on my blog, you know I love fruit! I love eating my favorite fruits, trying new fruits, and taste-testing exotic tropical fruits, not normally found at my regular grocery store. Next up is the Oriental melon, commonly called the Korean melon here in the States or “Chamoe” in Korean.
Time to learn all about the amazing Korean melon, where it comes from and where it grows, what the health benefits are, how to eat it, and of course, what it tastes like. The Korean melon is one of my absolute favorite melons to eat. On to the information!
Where does the Korean Melon come from and where does it grow?
The Oriental melon or Korean melon, part of the muskmelon family, is said to have originated in Eastern India many many years ago and spread to China via the Silk Road. Then it was introduced to Korea and Japan.
It is a very popular fruit in Korea and is widely cultivated there. While it is primarily grown in Korea, China, and Japan, it is also grown in Hawaii and California.
I haven’t ever seen them in my local supermarket, but when they are in season, I always see them at my local Asian Supermarket, in the Mekong Plaza in Mesa, AZ.
The Korean melon doesn’t like really hot temperatures and grows best with highs around 75 to 85F (24 to 29C) and lows between 60 and 75 F (15 to 24C). They need plenty of sun and rich soil that retains moisture well.
What are the health benefits of the Korean melon?
This melon packs quite the nutritional punch. They are loaded with vitamins and nutrients:
- High in calcium
- High in Vitamin A, Vitamin C
- Help to boost cancer resistance
- Helps against constipation
- Lower cholesterol level
- Helps to maintain blood pressure
- Extremely hydrating
For more health benefits you can read this article.
How do you eat Korean melon?
This smallish melon is a little unique from other melons, in that you can pretty much eat the entire melon if you wanted to, like a cucumber. The skin or rind is quite thin, much thinner than a watermelon, cantaloupe, etc.
It is ripe when it feels heavy for its size, will have a slight fruity smell to it, and will have a little give when pressed.
While the peel/skin is edible, I usually peel it first with a knife or potato peeler. But again, you can certainly eat the skin if you desire.
Now cut the fruit in half. You will notice lots of little seeds on the inside, similar to other melons. You can pick each half up and eat them like that seeds and all.
Or you can treat it like other melons and cut it into slices or chunks for a salad or something. You don’t have to eat the seeds and pulp in the middle if you don’t want. Like other melons you can scoop that out and discard it. BUT try it first with the seeds and pulp. That is the juiciest and sweetest part of the melon, and my favorite part!
So I always eat it with the seeds and pulp.
The fruit is usually eaten fresh like this, or used in a variety of dishes.
What does the Oriental melon or Chamoe taste like?
The Korean melon tastes amazing in my opinion. It is crisper than a cantaloupe and honeydew, but not quite as crisp as a cucumber. The sweetness is somewhere in between those as well.
While crisp, they are extremely juicy, especially the pulp around the seeds. Again, my favorite part! Some people compare it to a mix of pear and cantaloupe and others say it tastes like a sweet cucumber.
I hope you enjoyed learning all about one of my favorite melons. Drop a comment down below and let me know if you have tried them and like them.
Watch the Korean Melon video I made here:
Thanks for recommending that we eat the pulp: I’d never done that before, and it’s a game changer! Before, I was sort of “meh” about Korean melons, but now I love them!
You are so very welcome!! 🙂 Yeah much of the sweetness is in the pulp and seeds, my favorite part haha 🙂 So glad you like them now!
My vines are starting to die off a little, but I have some that are very large and seem ripe, maybe because of less sun exposure, but I am afraid to pick because they are whiter than others that I have picked, not as yellow. Are some melons ripe before they turn that bright yellow color?
Just wait until they fall off the vine easily. 🙂 Awesome that you are growing them.
I live out in texas where its been around 95-105 for the last few months and these have been growing like crazy. we always save the seeds to toss in the yard so we have a melon patch that i dont have to tend to and off of 3 volunteer vines we have gotten at least 20 fruit. they do awesome grown on a fence too. definitely one i will keep growing every year. they seem to not care about the heat all that much in my experience.
That is awesome!! 🙂
Just found this quite cheap at Sprouts in Laveen by the 202. Had never had them before and landed on your blog to find out how to eat them. It’s delicious. To me, it’s right between a cantaloupe and honey dew.
That is awesome, I will have to check the Sprouts near me in Mesa, to see if they have them. Glad you go to try it and liked it!
FYI – they are selling them at the Safeway in Surprise, AZ
Awesome!! I wonder if they have them at my local Safeway in Mesa. One of my favorite melons!!
My wife buys them often. She likes them peeled and the seeds removed. So i dried the seeds on a paper towel and tossed them in the back yard next to our Arbor. In about two or three months we started to get melons. So far we harvested three fully ripened melons and there are two more small ones growing and many yellow blossoms on the sprawling small
green vines. It seems to tolerate the summer heat in the west valley (phx, Az).
That is awesome, Troy!! And cool you live in Phoenix. I live in AZ too, east valley, Mesa.
Very interesting & informative taste test on this cute melon, Ty. Never tried it before, but excited to try growing it in my garden this year. I’ve been looking for a melon that I will like. I hope this is the one! I like the pear reference, crispness, & size.
You are welcome!! 🙂 Have fun growing it!