stuffed ampalaya

stuffed ampalaya, or bittermelon. the bittermelon was soaked in ice water overnight to remove some of the bitterness, then cut in half and stuffed with a mixture of ground chicken, finely diced potato, minced onion, garlic, and chili. it was then dipped in an egg wash and seasoned flour then fried.


ooh, you just gave me an idea! I have ONE ampalaya sitting in my fridge this very moment. I only got one, as I was going to sautee it with onions, tomatoes, and eggs for my brunch this past weekend but I didn't ever get around to it. I think I will try your recipe instead. Maybe my girls will try it if it looks pretty like yours :)

hi jmom!

oh maaaan, good luck on that. you could dip it in chocolate, that might make ampalaya appealing to kids :-P

those are gorgeous! i love how the slices look like flowers. i only wish that my haole husband (and hapa children) liked bitter melon. ah well.

hi hailyn!

try de-naturing the beast by getting rid of almost all the bitterness; if you make it completely inoffensive, and they fall for it--i mean, can live with it--later you can start introducing a little more bitterness. i think that's how my mom got me to eat it when i was younger, and now i like it super-bitter. what's nice about this particular recipe is that it's made with ground chicken (turkey or even tofu would work) and potatoes and that's relatively bland, so kids should go for it. and it's fried, and well, everything's better when it's fried, right? ;-) or cover it in chocolate.

Hi Santos,

I absolutely love bittermelon. This looks so good, I'm going to try this soon. Does it matter what you stuff this with? I'd like to try this with ground pork, teriyaki style. =)

hey reid

oh heck yeah, ground pork is the norm, but there wasn't any in the house. i'd like to try this with just veggies next time, maybe kabocha squash for something a little sweet to play against the bitterness.

Oh yes! So reminiscent of lola and childhood. We use palaman ng torta which is pork but your substitution sounds as tasty.

Interesting take on bitter gourd.

The Chinese do something similar, stuff it with seasoned minced fish paste or pork, and then steam it.

The Indians slice it wafer thin, coat it with flour batter and deep fry - turns out like crispy chips.

hey fatman

thanks for stopping by--i've had it steamed before, but never as a chip. that would be interesting to try--how is it served?

When you soak the ampalaya, is it peeled or do you soak it as is? :)

This looks so yummy!

hi toni

i didn't peel them. the ampalaya were small, so i just cut them in half. if i was sauteeing them i would just cut them in the desired shape and then soak the pieces.

Hey Santos, I tried it, and loved it! Love the potato addition, made it so different. Mine kind of fell apart though :( so I didn't even bother taking a photo. It tasted great though, I had it for dinner, then lunch the next day. I'll have to try it again, and see if I can make it as pretty as yours :)

hi jmom

the ampalaya were small, so the halves were only about 3-4 inches--a lot easier to handle!

Hi Santos,

The deep fried bitter gourd, Indian style, can be seen here: