Ginisang Ampalaya at Hipon is a delicious vegetable stir-fry made of bittermelon, shrimp, tomatoes, and eggs. It's delicious and nutritious as well as budget-friendly.
It's funny how many wives’ tales there are on how to rid ampalaya of its natural acridness. One friend told me, “the cook should be smiling and singing while cooking the ampalaya” and another friend said, “the cook has to be a virgin”.
Well, since I am not of a bubbly disposition and have not been pure in thoughts or actions for at least two decades, am I doomed for bitter ampalaya? No, ma'am, because luckily, I have a few tricks in my bag on how to conquer bittermelon!
One traditional method of preparing ampalaya is to let the slices sit in salt until they begin to weep and then squeeze to rid of the bitterness. I am not a big proponent of this technique because bitter gourd is a powerhouse of nutrients. Why deplete the vegetable of its beneficial juices?
By following these simple tips below, your next ginisang ampalaya at hipon will be more palatable without the customary salting. Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments.
How to Decrease the Bitterness in Ginisang Ampalaya
- Use the youngest and greenest gourds you can find because as the vegetable matures and yellows, the bitter taste intensifies.
- Make sure to scrape off all the white pith inside and slice the green flesh as thinly as possible.
- Keep stirring to a minimum and do not overcook.
- Sugar, used in the right proportion, can help neutralize bitter flavors. Sprinkle the dish with about ½ teaspoon along with the salt and pepper.
If you're looking for simple vegetable dishes, this ampalaya stir-fry with shrimp needs to be on your regular meal rotation!
Not only is it quick and easy to make in under 30 minutes, but it's also budget-friendly and adaptable. You can omit the shrimp for a vegetarian version or replace with ground or diced pork for an easy switch of flavors.
It makes a great meal on its own with steamed rice or as a side dish for grilled meat or fried fish. With tender-crisp ampalaya, plump shrimp, juicy tomatoes, and fluffy eggs, it's delicious as it is nutritious!
Ginisang Ampalaya at Hipon
- 4 medium ampalaya
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup water
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut ampalaya lengthwise and with a spoon, remove seeds and scrape off white pith. Sliced thinly and place in a bowl of cold water until needed. Drain well when ready to use.
- In a wide skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened.
- Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add shrimp and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp starts to change color.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- Add ampalaya and gently toss to combine. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until tender yet crisp.
- In a thin stream, add eggs and gently stir to distribute. Continue to cook for about 1 minute or until eggs have set.
- Season with sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve hot.