I have always liked my ampalaya (bitter melon) chunky and crispy, sauteed with tomatoes and served sizzling with thick sauce, Chinese-style. But mama, my friend T‘s mom, cooks it differently. Notice the thin ringlets sans tomato color, they’re light green that you may say they’re overcooked but I couldn’t say it ain’t yummy because the truth is… I love it! Mama didnt go into the trouble of trying to de-bitter the vegetable and lose the vital nutrients but it’s really surprising the dish wasn’t bitter at all. Hmm… is it NZ bitter melon or I just have high tolerance for bitter flavor?
Ampalaya, sliced into thin ringlets, seeds scooped out and discarded
Ground pork (or beef)
Salt and pepper
Fry ground pork using as little oil as possible for about 5 minutes over low to medium heat or until brownish. Push them to one side of the pan and then fry garlic until aromatic. Throw in onions and saute for a minute. Add in the ampalaya ringlets and saute for a minute. Pour in a small cup of water and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and simmer for another 2 minutes or until cooked.