Ampalaya, also known as Bitter Melon, is a fruit with the characteristics of a vegetable, well-regarded for its nutritional benefits, including vitamins C and A, as well as iron. While it has not been officially approved by health authorities as a medical treatment, many people use this bitter gourd to help manage diabetes and other health conditions.

The name “Bitter Melon” comes from its distinctively bitter taste, which can make it challenging to consume. However, various cultures have found ways to reduce the bitterness and incorporate it into delicious dishes. Here are some steps to prepare Ampalaya before cooking, in order to lessen its bitterness:

  1. Wash the Ampalaya and cut it in half. Remove the seeds and then slice the gourd into smaller pieces.
  2. Fill a bowl with a sufficient amount of water, depending on the quantity of Bitter Melon you plan to cook.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water and whisk until the salt dissolves.
  4. Submerge the sliced Ampalaya pieces into the salted water, allowing them to soak for 10-15 minutes.
  5. After the soaking period, squeeze the juice out of the Bitter Melon pieces while they remain in the salted water.
  6. Remove the squeezed Ampalaya slices from the salted water and transfer them to a strainer.
  7. Rinse the Ampalaya slices under running water. Once this is done, they are ready to be cooked in your chosen recipe.

Ampalaya Sauteed with Scrambled Eggs is Usually Eaten for Breakfast

Pinakbet is an Ilocano recipe in which, Ampalaya or Bitter Melon is one of its main ingredients.