When I was a kid, I was taught not to be picky when it comes to food. While most kids would hate eating vegetables, I on the other hand, would always want to have them for ulam (viand). I love mashing the potatoes from the Nilagang Baboy and mix it with my rice. I particularly love pechay, talbos ng kamote and cabbage. I think, I can eat all vegetables... yes, including the dreaded ampalaya (bitter gourd)!
I know most kids even some adults don't like eating ampalaya. Well, I used to not like it too but thanks to the awesome cooking of my Lolo, I learned to like it. Actually, it's one of my favourite vegetable. So for today, I want to share with you how I cook this simple dish called Ginisang Ampalaya. And give you tips on how to make it less bitter, so your little ones (or maybe you as well) would like it.
Garlic ( I love to cook with lots of garlic!)
Pork sliced into small cubes or strips
(seeded and cut into thin slices)
To make it less bitter, soak the ampalaya slices in water with some salt. I soak them for about 10 minutes.
How to Cook:
1. In a pan, heat some oil then put in the garlic. Let it become brown then add the onions. Saute.
2. Add the tomatoes
3. Continue to sauté and much better if you mash the tomatoes
4. Add the pork
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add fish sauce if you like.
6. Cook until the pork becomes brown and tender
7. Remove the ampalaya from water then mix well into the pan
8. Add a bit of water then simmer for 5 minutes or until the ampalaya becomes tender. Try not to overcook. I love my ampalaya a bit crunchy.
9. This one's optional: Beat 1-2 eggs then pour over the ampalaya. Mix well until cooked and you're done!
The hubby's who not so into ampalaya loves this dish. I personally like it without the egg but he likes it with egg, so fine! (laughs) As long as I can get him to eat it. Ampalaya is one of the healthiest vegetables and it is also known to fight diabetes. Diabetes runs in hubby's family, so I want to make sure he gets a head start in fighting it.
While I only soak my ampalaya in water with salt for a short time then drain it, some would rub insides of the ampalaya with salt, soak it for a long time and then put it in a cloth to squeeze out the juice. It's effective in making the ampalaya a lot less bitter, but the nutrients are also lost. And sometimes, the ampalaya becomes tasteless. What's the point of eating tasteless ampalaya and with no nutrients?
Tee-hee, just askin!
Oh by the way, there's one vegetable I haven't learned to like yet…OKRA! I still can't stand its slime. But I so envy those who can eat it just boiled and with bagoong (shrimp sauce)! Parang ang sarap-sarap! (It looks like it's so delicious!) Maybe, I should try harder to like it next time. Let's see!
Happy Monday, my loves!
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