Filipinos are always been a fan of ampalaya! A trip to Filipino markets will show the abundance of this vegetable. Ampalaya or bitter melon, a vegetable native in India, has always been part of Filipino diet . It may be bitter but Filipinos love it that way! We can enjoy it in salad, or simply sautéed with meat or shrimps. And another part of ampalaya Filipinos love to eat are its leaves/tendrils or talbos. You could buy them in bunches in the market at a very affordable price. Or if you are lucky, a tour in a neighborhood you can ask them for free . Filipinos are believed to be the largest consumers of ampalaya leaves/tendrils (maybe because of its affordability and versatility). The leaves are tasty and have tangy taste perfectly added on vegetable soups like corn soup or more popularly used in mung beans (munggo).
For more recipes on ampalaya here are the links:
Ampalaya leaves/ Talbos ng Ampalaya Salad
1 bunch of fresh ampalaya leaves (you can replace this with watercress if you are overseas)
1 big red onion
2 red tomatoes
2 salted eggs (itlog na maalat)
Salt, pepper, some oil
Pick the leaves and tendrils one by one. Clean and pat them dry. Boil some water and blanch briefly the ampalaya leaves, soak them immediately in water with ice. In a bowl, put your salad oil (about one tablespoon) add some salt and pepper. Cut the onions, tomatoes and salted eggs. Toss the leaves, onions, tomatoes and salted eggs with the dressing.