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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sauteed Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd) with Egg and Ground Pork

Honestly, I've never been a big fan of bitter gourd or what's called ampalaya in the Philippines. My mom who was diabetic used to cook it frequently when I was young...but she knew that my brother and I couldn't tolerate its bitterness so she didn't mind if we didn't eat much of it.  As I grew older, I got to understand and appreciate the health benefits of ampalaya...but I still can't make myself love it as much as I love other vegetables. I do eat it...but I don't find that much enjoyment in doing it as much as my husband does. He is an ampalaya fan, you know...and it's because of all its nutritional benefits. You see, behind its ribbed and wrinkled surface, ampalaya is a highly nutritious vegetable that is very low in sugar and fat, but high in fiber. It contains vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, C, E and K as well as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and also antioxidants. 
The hubs loves ampalaya in Paksiw na Bangus and  Pakbet, but this Sauteed Ampalaya with Egg and Ground Pork is his most favorite ampalaya dish. I usually cook it with lots of ground pork so my daughters will find enough reason to eat it. 

I learned from my mom that to get rid of the bitter taste, the white pith in the middle of the ampalaya should be completely removed. Dredging the ampalaya with generous amount of salt and leaving it for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly would also help. I have always followed the mentioned preparation techniques, and I must say it works. The only disadvantage of doing this is you also wash away some of the nutrients in the ampalaya with all the rinsing and soaking you do. But I guess getting rid of the bitterness and allowing you to enjoy a more delicious dish is all worth it! ;)

Ingredients:
  • 3 pcs. medium-sized ampalaya
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 lb ground pork (my daughters don't eat much bitter gourd so I always cook it with a pound of ground pork)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oil (I use olive oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
1. Wash ampalaya then cut them lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape off seeds and all the white pith. Dust it generously with salt and let it rest for 10 minutes. Rinse the ampalaya in running water. Slice thinly and place in a bowl, covered in cold water until ready to use.
2. In a skillet over medium heat, saute garlic in oil until light brown. Add onions and tomatoes. Saute until tomatoes are soft. Add ground pork and saute until there's no more red color showing. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and about 1/8 tsp of pepper. Stir until well combined. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until pork is tender. 
3. Drain water from the ampalaya then add ampalaya and oyster sauce into the skillet. Toss until well combined with other ingredients. Cover and simmer for about 3 minutes or until ampalaya is cooked but still crisp. Add eggs and gently stir to distribute. Continue cooking for 1 more minute or until eggs have set. Remove from heat. Serve hot with steamed rice.

7 comments :

  1. That's a great combo esp for those who do not like bitter gourd & wud eat Non veg. But sadly I do not eat pork.. Ur step wise pics looks neat & very self explainable :)

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  2. I like bitter gourd too been cooking amapalaya but in different ways Im glad I found your recipe. Thank you and God Bless!.

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  3. Thanks for the info on how to cook ampalaya. Will cook it later for our lunch :)

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  4. tried it and loved it..thank you

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  5. My Mom used to cook this too. But now I have to do it so when I found your recipe, I was so excited... about to try now.
    @chitz, you can also try it with minced prawn or chicken.

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