Binagoongang Ampalaya sa Gata

Binagoongang Ampalaya sa Gata is a Filipino dish made out of bitter gourd, pork belly and fermented shrimp paste sauteed in garlic and onions then cooked in coconut milk.

Several weeks ago a colleague of mine gave me some bitter gourd and I was so happy as these costs like gold in here, just a measly 2 pieces of this would cost you around NZ$15 for a fresh one and it goes lower to NZ$8.00 if no one buys it for a week. It was also in time as I was planning to this dish this week and I don’t need to buy my bitter gourd anymore. This dish I guess is not really popular as I never tried it in the Philippines before, I only tried it one here in New Zealand when we had a Filipino potluck gathering, this is one of the dish served. I am not sure if you had tried bitter gourd before but I guess this is not for everyone as this vegetable is really bitter, I never liked it when I was younger but with proper preparation I guess the bitterness becomes palatable and pleasing to the taste when combined with matching ingredients, this is one and I love it.

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Binagoongang Ampalaya sa Gata

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Binagoongang Ampalaya sa Gata is a Filipino dish made out of bitter gourd, pork belly and fermented shrimp paste sauteed in garlic and onions then cooked in coconut milk.


  • 2 pcs medium sized bitter gourd, sliced
  • 500g pork belly, cubed
  • 3 tbsp bagoong alamang (fermented shrimps)
  • 800 ml coconut milk
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • salt
  • oil


  1. Generously rub bitter gourd with lots of salt then soak them in a 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup water solution for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with running water then set aside.
  2. In a wok add oil then brown pork pieces.
  3. Add garlic and onion then sauté until onions are soft.
  4. Add bagoong and stir until fragrant.
  5. Add 500ml of coconut milk and bring it to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes or until pork is tender.
  6. Bring the pork pieces on the side of the wok then place the bitter gourd in the centre. Do not stir then cover wok and simmer in medium high heat for 10 minutes.
  7. At this stage coconut milk will be oily and thick, pour the remaining coconut milk and cayenne then simmer for 5 more minutes.
  8. Season with freshly ground black pepper then serve.


If you can’t find bagoong in your place you can easily order them at Amazon


No Responses

  1. Sounds so tasty!
    🙂 Mandy

  2. i love the white bitter gour fot it’s not over powering bitter taste,
    unfortunately my grandma had osteoarthritis so i rarely brought this home….

  3. denisecamille says:

    what is the purpose of marinating the ampalaya with vinegar? is it to remove some bitterness?

  4. Kristy says:

    I’ve never had a bitter gourd before. The photo is beautiful. You always make the dishes look so delicious…I just want to jump through the screen and eat some. I wonder if I would like bitter gourd. Bitter is one of the flavor profiles I usually have trouble enjoying, but as you know, I’m always open to trying!

  5. Caroline says:

    Oh gosh, I’m a sucker for pork belly. This sounds great!

  6. Juliana says:

    I never had pork belly with bitter gourd…looks delicious Raymund. Thanks for the recipe and have a great week 🙂

  7. Firstly, your photography is getting beautiful each passing day!!

    And you are a risque eater — bitter gourd, pork belly and fermented shrimps. Oh my 😀

  8. bettyannq says:

    I love Ampalaya a.k.a. bitter gourd, and this will be a great new dish to try, with some familiar flavors, too. Thanks for sharing, Raymund. And thanks for the kind blog comments 🙂

  9. That is exactly the same way I felt/feel about bitter gourd, Ray ! I HATED it when I was young but as I have gotten older my palate seems to have changed as well and I have to say it’s not one of vegetables of choice, but I do actually like it. I love it in “yong tau foo” – a soupy dish you can get here in Singapore.

  10. oscar says:

    I’ve just make binagoongan baboy last easter Sunday, I add lots of green chopped chilies and it was well blended with spicy and salty, I’m just going to add bitter gourd/melon, I paired mg binagoongan baboy with steam Japanese eggplant its yummy cause the eggplant has a little sweetness, I’ll try your recipe with gata

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