The Philippines is lucky to have been blessed with abundant varities of local vegetables that grows easily and that are packed with vitamins and nutrients. One of the very good example is Ampalaya or bitter melon. There exist different varieties of this vegetable; some maybe long, short, very bitter or less bitter. And I remember way back in Okinawa, Japan I tasted their locally grown ampalaya or goya as they call it but a little bit different from the ones we have in the Philippines. Some people may despise this vegetable because of its bitterness but all households have their own special technique in taking it off. What is so good about this vegetable is that studies showed that they are perfect for people who are diabetic. For ampalaya help our bodies to produce natural insulin.
Who said that bitter can’t be good. Try this delicious and healty vegetable dish, very Filipino.
1/4 kilo of beef sliced thinly (you can replace this with ground beef or pork)
2 to 3 big Ampalaya
3 big eggs
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 onion sliced
2 tomatoes cut in cube
some cooking oil
half a cup of beef broth (beef bouillon dissolve in half a cup of hot water)
salt & pepper
The most important part of cookign this dish is taking off the bitterness of the ampalaya. Start by cutting it into two and taking off the seeds with the help of a spoon. Slice them thinly diagonally. Boil some water and pour this over the sliced ampalaya. Add one big spoonful of rock salt. Let it stand for few minutes until the water has cooled down and you can handle with your hand the ampalaya. Squeeze off all the water from the ampalaya with your hands. Heat off the pan with cooking oil then add up the garlic, onion and tomatoes. Stir them well add the beef as if you are stir-frying all the ingredients. Put the ampalaya , add the water and cover. Do not stir it for the first five minutes. Add the eggs beaten like an omellette. The turn off the fire. The eggs will be cooked by the heat of the vegetable. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saying has it that stirring the ampalaya during the cooking process (once they are added) makes this dish even more bitter. Its up to you whether you will stir it or not. My advise, do not stir it, for this strategy always work for me.