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Making Ampalaya or Bitter Gourd Taste Good

Ampalaya – the natural weapon against diseases

Have you tasted how bitter is bitter melon or bitter gourd?

Bitter Gourd, with local name of Ampalaya in the Philippines, is a fruit-vegetable whose health benefits cannot be ignored.  Ampalaya has medicinal benefits for managing diabetes. It contains active substances that reduce blood sugar levels. In addition, it contains several vital nutrients needed by the body.

Unfortunately, many cannot stand the bitter taste of this vegetable. Do you know that it can be made to taste less bitter or  even good?

Ways to Make Bitter Gourd Taste Good

Tip No. 1: Squeeze with Salt

Sliced ampalaya

After washing and slicing the bitter gourd into thin strips, add about a teaspoon of salt and mix it with the bitter gourd for a minute or two. Keep mixing. Notice that the bitter melon gets pliant and there is now some juice. Squeeze out the juice. The vegetable that remains is now ready for cooking. There may be a slight loss in some of the nutrients but it should not be very significant.

Tip No. 2: Do Not Overcook

Do not overcook the bitter melon. When you overcook, the bitterness gets pronounced. Remove from heat while it is still a bit crispy.

Tip No. 3: Choose a less bitter variety.

Not all bitter gourds are the same. Some are more bitter than others. From each of your sources, you may have to try them out.

Tip No. 4. Familiarity be friend

You may not like its taste the first time you eat it. But as you keep trying, you will grow to like it. This is important especially for children to develop their taste.

You may start with the taste-friendly recipes below.

Delicious Bitter Gourd Recipes

Recipe No. 1: Ampalaya in Coco Milk

Get one or two whole pieces of bitter gourds. Roast them on stove top until pliant. Do not burn. Wash the roasted whole gourds, remove the seeds and slice thinly. Mix with some salt to squeeze out some juice as mentioned in tip#1. Mix the vegetable with a cup of coconut milk. No need to add salt. Serve

Recipe No. 2: Ampalaya with Egg

Prepare 1 cup of thinly sliced ampalaya. Be sure there are no seeds.

Beat one egg.

Saute garlic and onion. Add the vegetable that had been squeezed out as in tip#1. Cook for a few minutes and add the egg. Mix until the egg is cooked. This can take a minute or two.

Recipe No. 3: Ampalaya with Bagoong Alamang (fermented krill in salt)

Bagoong Alamang (fermented krill in salt)


Prepare a cup of sliced Ampalaya squeezed with salt. Saute garlic and onion. Add the ampalaya and the bagoong alamang. Keep mixing until the vegetable is cooked. Again, do not overcook.

If you have other recipes that will help make ampalaya or bitter gourd more bearable to first timers, share them in the comments section below.

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