Monday, August 20, 2007

Ginisang Ampalaya or Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd

Ginisang Ampalaya or Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd.

When I was growing up ginisang ampalya was one of the dish that I would not eat. My mother would always tell me that "ampalya" is good for me. She'll say that it is rich in iron, potassium,Vitamins and fiber. And she'll always want me to eat it and I would end up crying because I wont and I can not tolerate the bitter taste of it.
That was then, and as a young adult I learned to eat ampalya because it was always prepared on our "meza" or table. It would be cooked as ginisa, ampalaya con carne, ginataan or mixed in paksiw na bangus together with some eggplant. And my mother would still say same old things about the benefits of eating the ampalaya; it is rich in iron, potassium, vitamins and fibers.
So I guess seeing it being eaten by my family and they seem to enjoy it, I was curious and tempted to give it another try. Tried it, ate it and then I began to like it to the point that I love it. I love eating it from being cooked as ginisang ampalaya to being cooked as ampalaya mixed in paksiw na bangus with some eggplant.
One thing I've learned over and over again and that is " Mother knows best" and never say never until you try again...something to that effect lol.

And now, being married I still love eating it and enjoying the health benefits of it.
I am still in the process of trying to encourage my husband and son how delicious and healthy it is if given a chance.
I still prepare them on our table although it seems like I am the only one eating them. But like my mother, I continue on cooking it until they try it and find it tasty and healthy.
To prepare it as ginisang Ampalya.
Cut a bitter melon , scoop out and scrape out the inner white pulp leaving only the outer green parts ( this will take out most of the bitterness of the bitter melon or bitter gourd). Put it in the bowl of salted water for a few minutes or while preparing other ingredients for ginisa. Garlic,tomatoes,onion, shrimp deveined and ( optional) fourth of a pound of lean ground pork. Boil and brown ground pork, saute garlic,onion and tomatoes then add shrimp until pink. Wash and drain water of the ampalaya. Add it the pan. Season with little bit of salt according to taste and never overcooked it. Like other vegetable it is better if it is half cooked.

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