Ginisang ampalaya (bitter gourd) is not a popular dish in our home. That’s because it is a bitter gourd. There’s just no way candy coating it. But there is an easy way to keep the bitterness off. That's with the help of the trusted salt. See further below how I do it.
There is a timely need for me to cook ampalaya recently as I am not having enough sleep lately. My bub is waking us up in the wee hours of the morning just because! I know I need to load up on some kind of iron-packed foods. And I remember the elders in the Philippines telling us before that ampalaya is indeed good in fighting the stress of not being able to sleep well. …and so, here I am with this post. I hope my ginisang ampalaya recipe would do some good for me other than filling up the tummy.
Here's how it's done at our home.
-Ampalaya, 1 whole, cut as below (Scoop out the core of the bitter gourd with a small spoon.)
To do away with the bitterness of the ampalaya, I washed it first with water. Drain; then, rub salt on it. I let it sit in a bowl as I prepare the other ingredients. After finishing up all the cutting and before I put in the oil in the pan, I drain again the water from the bowl. If you don’t like a very bitter dish, this simple technique will do wonders.
-Garlic, 5-7 cloves, chopped
-Onions, 1 whole, chopped
-Tomatoes, 2 pieces, chopped
-Pork shoulders, 100g, cut small
-Vermicelli noodles (sotanghon), 50g, soaked in water
-Egg, 1 whole, beaten
-Water, 1 cup
-Fish sauce, 1 tbsp
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-Cooking oil, 1tbsp
1. Prep the vermicelli by soaking it in tap water. Cut into desired length, if need be.
2. Put oil on a heated pan.
3. Fry the fatty portions of the meat first under medium heat.
4. When they turn brown, add in the garlic. Stir well.
5. When the garlic turns golden, add in the rest of the pork.
6. Season with fish sauce.
7. When the pork had rendered most of its fats and had turned brown, add in the onions. Stir well. This may take 15-20 minutes.
8. When the onions sweat, put the tomatoes in.
9. Continue mixing until the tomatoes start to juice up.
10. Add in the bitter gourd. Stir well.
11. Add in the eggs. Continue stirring.
12. When the eggs had formed with the dish, add the water. Do not cover the pot.
13. When the water boils, add in the vermicelli noodles.
14. Wait for at least 5 minutes to cook the noodles.
15. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
16. Serve while hot.
There you have it. Enjoy!