"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

Ginisang Ampalaya (Sauteed Bittermelon) with Eggs

From ginisang ampalaya (sauteed bittermelon) with egg
Not a lot of people like eating ampalaya. I myself started not liking it, but I acquired the taste for it as I grew older. Now I love it, especially when I have finally discovered to get rid of most of the bitter taste, and come up with crunchy slices of ampalaya.

As a side note, it is a common knowledge among Filipinos that ampalaya is one of the natural remedies for lowering blood sugars (in other words, anti-diabetic).

I used to eat this every morning when I wanted to lose weight (or I would alternate it with adobong kangkong or ginataang puso ng saging or adobong labong). Cooked only with eggs as its protein source, I would enjoy it with freshly cooked plain rice. I can eat a whole ampalaya in two meals cooked this way. It's a great way to slim down.

1 ampalaya, prepared as depicted in the slideshow
salt (for ampalaya)
3 tbsp oil for sauteeing
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1-3 medium tomatoes (as you prefer)
2 eggs, beaten slightly with 1/4 cup water, let stand
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
ground basil


Prepare amapalaya as shown above. While sitting with the salt on, start slicing the other veggies. Beat eggs and add the water. Let sit.
After about 5 minutes, while heating up the pan, rinse and wring out excess fluid from ampalaya using a layer of cheesecloth.
Sautee garlic, onion, then tomatoes. Add the ampalaya and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock. and let boil. Set veggies at one side of the pan and pour the beaten eggs onto the boiling stock, let cook untouched. Then stir together again for further 3 minutes or until ampalaya is cooked but still crunchy. Season with ground basil and salt and pepper.


  1. thank you manang! i have added your link as well. see you around :D

  2. I'm a little wary about trying this again - the last time I made ampalaya, it was awful (I didn't get all the bitterness out). But this looks too good and your slideshow tutorial is a big help!

  3. hi there! i super enjoyed reading your blogs! keep it up! btw, if u have time, you might want to visit my food blogs too at theeatingroom.wordpress.com

  4. puprock,
    thanks for the invite. I included your blog in my blogs to follow list. :) You are very pretty!

  5. TN,
    I found the right thinness for me to get rid of the bitterness as I would like to. I do not want to overdo it, either. And I think not overcooking plays a role as well.

  6. Hi Manang, that's how I cook my bittermelon, but I add some shrimps,and the way I take bitterness out I soak with salt and warm water for awhile while I'm preparing the rest of the ingredients.Then I rinse the ampalaya and squeeze out the juice.

  7. Hi Luz,
    You have just reminded me about that shrimp with ampalaya, that my Nanay used to add the small shrimps and we (my sons and I) loved them! SO maybe yeah, I can do the same with larger shrimps. That will be oh so good!

  8. That looks so good, and it makes me miss the taste of it! I love love love ampalaya, especially with a bit of pork (though then, it's not so slimming!). I'd cook it more, but my boyfriend really dislikes it. He tells me I should buy it, anyway, and prepare it for myself. Maybe I should!

  9. That's right, Julie. Right now, I consider this as "indulgence" because I get ampalaya only about once or twice a year.

  10. Manang! I just had this ampalaya this morning for breakfast! Yummy! Hmmm.. I didn't know one can lose weight eating this. It didn't work for me. :( Maybe because I ate enough for 6 people??? We've always cooked it with eggs, too, but the shrimps sound good, too!

  11. Racquel,
    I lost weight by not including too much meat/protein in these mainly-veggies dishes I mentioned. Haha! I still ate very little rice with them when I ate them for purposes of weight loss. And like you implied, I ate enough for me (that's why I ate this whole ampalaya in two meals).

  12. 1st time visitor here and doing the happy dance to have finally found a foodie blog that has everything I want. This is the 1st dish from your blog that I'm going to "attempt" to cook. Wish me luck :)
    Pam NYC, NY

  13. Hi Pam! Welcome to my kusina!
    Good luck! May you enjoy your ampalaya!

  14. Hi Manang, i'll try to cook ampalaya by myself tonight, my hubby loves this much,so I should have my own cooking style.

  15. HI Anonymous,
    So how did your ampalaya cooking go? I hope you had a satisfactory outcome!

  16. That looks yummy. I used to hate ampalaya too. But now, I love it!

  17. hi manang, i chanced upon your blog when i was searching for ginisang ampalaya. wow! i am very impressed with your blog! buti na lang, my mom wasn't picking up her phone or else, i would not have found you- was calling my mom for instructions. good job, manang! i will try to make it today for dinner.

  18. hi mommy chi,
    Thanks for your message!
    I checked out your profile and saw you like interior decorating. I might get some tips from you as I suck in it. Can I?

  19. it's my pleasure manang. the ampalaya recipe was great - it's exactly what i was hoping for. thank you! as for interior decorating...oh manang, i wasn't planning to blog anything anytime soon... i see that you're building your house yourselves...(amazing!)...i will see what i can do and of course, i will be glad to post something about it. - mmy chi.

  20. chi-chi,
    Glad my recipe did not disappoint you! Haha!
    Yeah...still building...my tahanan blog is not that updated (I post more pics in fb!). Right now there is a big empty wall above the arch leading to our sunroom...
    are you fb'ing? If so, can I add you as friend?

  21. i,ve tied your recipe & it taste good especially when i added some sotanghon in the ampalaya with egg & stir in oyster sauce and a little of peanut butter..taste so good! i love it! you can also add durog na chicharon on top of it!


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