"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicken Sotanghon Soup with Ampalaya (Bittermelon)

Another comfort food for me is the chicken sotanghon soup with thin slices of bittermelon. It is a "manang" thing. I don't know of anyone else who likes this, but I do remember this as being introduced to my by my Nanay (just like I love tinolang manok with ampalaya and sweet corn that she also introduced to us, I like this sotanghon soup with ampalaya).

As usual, I just need chicken stock and meat for this, basically. I soak the sotanghon noodles first in hot water for about 5 minutes while I reheat the stock with meat. I seldom have ampalaya, so this is something I make only when I have these ingredients. And I am the only one who likes it in this family. My sons have not developed the taste for ampalaya (they tried, but did not like it). I let the ampalaya slices sit with salt sprinkled on them for about 5 minutes then rinse with cold water and pressed to remove the bitter juices. Then when sotanghon is almost cooked I add the ampalaya and let cook for about a minute or two, sprinkle with ground basil, and enjoy my bowl of soup.


  1. i'm not a fan but i do eat ampalaya.

    i'd like to ask if you'd be willing to exchange links with me? i hope it's alright. thanks.

    happy sunday!

  2. I never tried this yet manang but I am willing to give it a shot,am a big fan of ampalaya,the pait it is the yummier=)Have a great Sunday!!!

  3. Liza,
    It's very much alright and I like exchanging links! Welcome to my site!
    I added you already on my blogs to follow.

    I don't like the pait too much so I do something first to the ampalaya before I cook it. But sometimes the ampalaya itself does not really taste bitter for some reason, and I love that weird (sabi ng anak ko) flavor.

  4. Such a nice, easy recipe - it can be varied in so many ways! Thanks for sharing.

  5. TN,
    So true. That's why I always want chicken stock in stock. haha! I sometimes use misua if I have them instead of sotanghon, although I just sprinkle with spring onions in that case. Parang hindi bagay ang ampalaya.

  6. I didn't know amplaya can be added to chicken sotanghon soup. I found a recipe on my favorite blogsite www.filipino-foods.com. I love the smell and taste of sotanghon with chicken broth. Thanks for this recipe!

  7. thank's for the recipe.i'll try the ampalaya with sotanghon tom.this is something new to me..more power to this site!

  8. Hi Anonymous!
    Thanks! I hope you like this soup...:)

  9. Hello, I am looking for a recipe for canning ampalaya in jars. My mother-in-law grows bitter melon here in Florida and there must be a way to can it for later use. Also would be interested in a recipe for pickling bitter melon. If you have a recipe for either way, please email me at: charlindabob at yahoo dot com.

  10. Just cooked it tonight, with a little twist, added tenga ng daga (mushrooms) and it tastes awesome. You would not even need rice to eat this! Thank you so much.

  11. I tried this tonight using tofu instead of chicken. The ampalaya had a rather crunchy, bitter texture - I'm thinking I should have sauteed it first along with the onion? Forgot the basil, but will add to the next bowl. Perhaps if I used a mandolin to slice the ampalaya thinner next time, it will cook through without needing to saute first.


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