“You’re either going to love it or you’re going to hate it”. So goes the warning to those who try ampalaya for the first time. All known as amargoso or bittermelon, this highly nutritious vegetable has a bitter taste that is unique – totally repulsive for some, but irresistible to others.
Ampalaya lovers claim that to acquire a taste for it, you must give it a second and third chance and it must be cooked properly to be enjoyed. To temper the bitter bite, soak the ampalaya slices in warm water with salt before cooking or mash with rock salt to squeeze out the bitter juice. When buying ampalaya, choose those that have wrinkles that are more spread out.
How to Cook Ampalaya Salad with Dressing
- 1 large ampalaya or bitter gourd
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch pepper
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons pickle relish
- 2 tablespoons white onion minced
- 3 hard boiled eggs chopped
- 3/4 cup small shrimp cooked and shelled
- salt and pepper to taste
How to make Ampalaya salad:
- Slice ampalaya in half lengthwise, with a melon baller scram off all the white membrane.
- Wash and dry ampalaya and keep in the refrigerator overnight.
- Slice ampalaya thinly. Put in a bowl and sprinkle with salt.
- Mash with the hand to extract juice. Wash off the salt with water and drain.
- In a casserole, boil water and add a pinch of baking soda.
- Drop ampalaya and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Drain and refresh with tap water.
- Put together marinade mixture in a bowl and add drained ampalaya.
- Marinate for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator. Drain ampalaya very well.
- Mix in with the dressing ingredients and pile over a lettuce lined bowl.
- Serve well chilled.