Bitterness aside, it is widely known that ampalaya has a lot of nutritional and medicinal values. For one, it can cure diabetes, and is a good source of vitamin C and folates. In order to get rid of the bitter taste, some people soak the ampalaya in salt and water for several minutes, and then squeezing the juice out. Along with the bitterness, some of the nutrients could also be removed by doing this.
Ampalaya is usually cooked while in the green or early yellowing stage. There are several Filipino dishes that have ampalaya as one of its ingredients. The most popular is Pinakbet which combines amplaya and a mix of other vegetables. They are stewed together with a little stock made of bagoong or fish paste.
Ginisang Ampalaya or Ampalaya with Egg is another popular dish which is very easy to make, and can be eaten any time of the day with a full heaping of rice.
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Yield: 3-4 servings
2 medium sized ampalaya
2 eggs, beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 medium sized tomato, deseeded and chopped
1. Cut the ends of the ampalaya. Slice it into half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and white innards. Cut each half across thinly like half moons.
2. To remove its bitterness, soak the ampalaya in a solution of 1 tbsp salt and 2 cups water for 10 to 20 minutes. Using a colander, rinse them with water, and then pat dry.
3. Heat the oil. Sauté the garlic, onion and tomatoes.
4. Add the ampalaya and cook for about 5 minutes or until it is tender. Add the beaten eggs, and cook until it firms up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Try no to overcook the ampalaya so that it can still retain a little of its crunchiness.
6. Remove from pan and serve with rice.
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