Guisadong Ampalaya

I am not sure if bitter gourd be considered a vegetable or a fruit but in Philippines we consider this as a vegetable and of all the vegetables this is the one I really don’t like until recently, who would not like the bitter taste of it? in fact this holds the title of the most bitter fruit. Almost every child that I know of will not eat this even adults but I was surprised to see my daughter enjoying this one when I served it to her. Now if you ask why the hell I am serving a dish where you think people would not like it? well first I think it’s not as disgusting as you think once properly prepared and like all other vegetable dishes this packs a lot of good things with it and here are some:

  • It’s good for the stomach, it is commonly used in Turkey as an ailment for stomach complaints, In Togo it is used to treat gastrointestinal diseases
  • It can treat malaria, especially in Philippines where there’s a lot of mosquitoes. It is also across Asia and Central America.
  • It is used against viral diseases like chickenpox and measles like in Togo
  • It can help curing diabetes, there are vitamins sold in Philippines using bitter gourd as the main ingredient to decrease blood sugar levels.
  • Good source of Vitamin C And I guess there a lot more out there.
  • It is found to have anti-cancer compounds.
  • These are the only things that I had heard of, imagine the other benefits not listed here.

This dish is one of the few dishes I know that uses bitter gourd so if you know some please feel free to share. I am interested to in what this vegetable can do and now that I love it and got used to the flavour its a great time to try. It took a long time for me to get used to this flavour, so I guess it will be the same for you, but now depending on who cooks it and how it was cooked I can now take it, in fact I love this one. Enjoy it with steamed rice and your favourite fried or grilled meat.


2pcs Medium sized Bitter Gourd, sliced
100g minced beef
100g minced pork
2 pcs eggs, beaten
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chicken stock or Chinese cooking wine
sea salt or fish sauce
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Generously coat sliced bitter gourd with salt and set it aside for at least an hour.
  2. Rinse bitter gourd with cold water then soak it water for at least 30 minutes. Drain the bitter gourd and squeeze out the water.
  3. In a wok add oil and sauté garlic and onions
  4. Add the minded meats and cook in high heat until brown.
  5. Add bitter gourd and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  6. Add chicken stock or Chinese cooking wine, and then stir fry for 3 minutes.
  7. Add eggs mix with the vegetables.
  8. Flavour with sea salt or fish sauce then season with black pepper.


23 Responses

  1. I never really liked ampalaya because of its taste. My mom likes the small ones and I always stay away from it. I guess I have yet to encounter someone who can cook it really good so I could learn to like it.

  2. nors says:

    Oo nga bro… Mapait pero masarap tan.

  3. Have never tried it and I know we can´t get it in Spain…although I´m sure in London I could. Am going to tell my mum about this because she loves trying new things, adores veggies and would be so interested to hear about the properties it has!

  4. What a great recipe! I honestly don’t know if I’ve eaten bitter gourd before but I am definitely intrigued.

  5. Henry says:

    After 23 years of my life, natutunan ko rin kainin ang super bitter ampalaya na to.

  6. Always learning something over here.

    • oscar says:

      Sa dam I ng bung a ng ampalaya ko sa garden ng tiya ko na masipag magdilig, any dami any nasusuplayan ng among mounting gulayan, do gaanong bitter kaka madali Kong lutuin any guisadong ampalaya, instead vinegar damihan ko ng kamatis PSA mabalanse any lasa

  7. Kristy says:

    I’ve heard of a bitter gourd, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one or tasted one. It sounds like it’s full of nutrients though. Interesting one!

  8. I love the healing power of food! Funny to call something bitter gourd, it’s almost like a warning. Thanks again for the learning adventure.

  9. Bitter gourd is not a child’s favorite. I grew to enjoy probably in my teenage years and love it now. Cooking this wit pork is classic. I do have a recipe on my blog using pork ribs and black bean sauce. Here is the link if you would like to check it out 🙂

  10. PolaM says:

    I will have to try this marvel vegetable!

  11. Over here…instead of using the normal egg…They used salted duck’s egg to stir fry the bitter gourd. Taste quite good too… =)

  12. I don’t see bitter gourd in the supermarket here, which is a good thing since I don’t like it:)

  13. I cook plenty of bitter gourd and works wonder for my hubby’s diabetic. Nice combo you have done to this gourd with those flavours of the meat.

  14. Felicia says:

    Bitter melon is one of those things Asian kids grow up hating, but learn to appreciate later, as you noticed. I do like it now, although my husband hates it! It really does go well with rich things like pork and strong, salty sauces.

  15. also rich in iron. recommended for women during menstruation days. 🙂

  16. foodjaunts says:

    I love bitter gourd but don’t have any fun recipes with it. My family always does it the way you’ve detailed it.

  17. Wow this is Filipino food too? In Japan (or I should say Okinawa), this bitter guard and egg recipe is VERY famous. I actually have never tried it before, but it’s one of the signature dish in Okinawa. Well, Okinawa is closer to the Philippines, but I’m surprised we have similar recipes!! Looks delicious!

  18. samology says:

    I actually don’t like bitter gourd because of it’s natural taste. However, I have had certain dishes with the fruit but can almost not taste the bitterness! It was subtle enough that I really enjoyed them! I would definitely love to try yours!

  19. Guia Obsum says:

    I love this dish and badly need it coz they say it’s good for the blood, something I definitely lack. Anyway, I used to hate it as a kid, but soon acquired the taste for it as I grew older. Now, when served in front of me, I still enjoy the slightly bitter aftertaste mixed in with scrambled eggs.

  20. Rhea says:

    I learned from my mother how to lessen (sometimes get rid of) the bitterness of this vegetable by first mixing it with salt and then pour boiling water on it and let it sit for about 1-2 minutes then strain.

    When i first tried this, my aunt could not believe her taste buds that she was actually eating the bitter gourd, because it was not bitter at all. I tried to cook it again with her request but i hadn’t made it same as the first time! But the bitterness, as i said, was lessened. So I still use this procedure whenever i prepare this dish.

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