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Ginisang Ampalaya at Hipon: Filipino Sauteed Bitter Melon With Shrimp

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Ginisang ampalaya at hipon: Filipino sauteed bitter melon with shrimp

Ginisang ampalaya at hipon: Filipino sauteed bitter melon with shrimp

What Is Ampalaya or Bitter Melon?

In Tagalog, bitter melon or bitter gourd is called ampalaya. This vine vegetable, Momordica charantia, is commonly grown in Asia and looks like a cucumber with ridges. It's green and bitter in taste yet popular in Asian cuisine. In this recipe, I'll show you how to eliminate the bitter taste.

This is what bitter melons look like.

This is what bitter melons look like.

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This is what the inside of the bitter melon looks like after slicing it open.

This is what the inside of the bitter melon looks like after slicing it open.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

15 min

25 min

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large ampalaya (bitter melon)
  • 1/2 cup cooked, shelled prawns, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash the bitter melon.
  2. Cut off the ends of the bitter melon and then slice it lengthwise (refer to the second photo above).
  3. Using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out and discard the white seeds and pulp that are inside the bitter melon.
  4. Cut the bitter melon crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  5. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in a bowl of water. Then soak the bitter melon slices in the bowl of water for 30 minutes. (This technique eliminates the bitterness of the bitter melon).
  6. Drain the bitter melon slices in a colander and rinse them under running water to remove the salt.
  7. Heat oil in a pan and sautee the garlic, onion, and tomatoes for about 4-5 minutes.
  8. Add the bitter melon slices and sautee for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the beaten eggs and cook for another 2 minutes.
  10. Add the cooked, chopped shrimp and stir for about 1-2 minutes. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Variations

  • Use other meats such as beef or pork instead of shrimp.
  • Omit the shrimp for a vegetarian dish.
  • Use fish sauce instead of salt.
  • For a more stew-like dish, add 3/4 cup water in step 8.

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