Sauteed Bittermelon with Egg

By: Sherry Sorono | We call it “Ampalaya”. In the Visayas Region of the Philippines, they call it “Amargoso” because of its bitterness. In Southeast Asia like in India, Pakistan and Banladesh; they call it “Bittergourd” or “Bittermellon”. Photo credit: Tastebuds Unlimited by Beth Celis

Ugly they are! and bitter too. But it is that bitterness that health expert s claim rids the body of its toxicity. We have gotten around that bitterness issue by concocting so many recipes, versions and twists in dealing with it.

Chopped in thin slices, its innards are scraped away by a spoon and then the slices are sprinkled with a little salt and after they are mixed in a mixing bowl, they are squeezed to take a little f that bitterness out.

Now there real game sets in: Chop some tomatoes, onions, garlic and a little bit salt and you are on your way to have a delectable Bittermellon Salad. Here’s a quick recipe for you to enjoy.


2 medium sized ampalaya
1 cup shrimp peeled and deveined
3 medium sized eggs, beaten
1 glove garlic, minced
1 medium sized onion, sliced
2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of water or chicken stock
2 tbspoon cooking oil

Ampalaya and seed
Ampalaya or Bittermelons are eaten with the seeds scraped out of the inner cavity. A Bing image.

Clean ampalaya, cut and remove seeds. Slice thinly and sprinkle with salt and mix well, to lessen the bitter taste. Put slice ampalaya in a bowl with hot water and set aside for a few minutes.

In a wok, heat cooking oil and saute garlic, onion and tomatoes. Add drained ampalaya and stir for 5 minutes. Add water or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until ampalaya is done. Add shrimps and stir for another 5 minutes. Add beaten eggs and cook for another 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with rice. —

Ampalaya grow into a majestic vine.
Yes, they are really ugly but very healthy. It takes one to get accustomed to its bitterness which is usually removed by putting a little salt after they are cut into pieces and squeezed out.

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