Saturday, August 10, 2013

Eating the Rainbow: Bitter Melon Salad 3

When I posted the Bitter Melon - Cucumber Salad last week, a blogger friend commented that it's like "eating the rainbow." I loved her comment and I said that sounds like a very nice title for my next blog post! Inspired by that, I'm featuring one of my signature dishes, an appetizing dish I learned from my parents and grandmother years back. Another rainbow dish, Astri? :)
Very simple and easy to make, this salad has become a favorite of my colleagues at work. Searching the net would yield many recipes of this salad appetizer, some giving tips on how to remove its bitter taste. Oh yes, some bitter melons are more bitter than the others, that's exactly why many people don't like bitter melon (known as ampalaya in the Philippines).

Through the years, I learned that sprinkling some rock salt over the ampalaya and squeezing out the juice remove the bitter flavor. Removing the juice however reduces the nutritional value one can get from this vegetable... I mean, fruit. Afterall, they say, "the more bitter, the healthier." With that in mind, I have always made it a habit to make thin slices of the ampalaya. You heard me right! Yes, very, very thin slices. Thanks to my mandolin slicer!  This, as I observed, helps reduce the bitterness such that one need not squeeze the ampalaya anymore before mixing the other ingredients. That preserves the antidiabetic properties and other nutrients therein.

Cutting ampalaya into thin slices, my secret in removing the bitter taste without losing the nutrients
Now, for the ingredients, click Bitter Melon (Gourd or Ampalaya) Salad.
Thin slices of ampalaya, onions and tomatoes plus vinegar and pinch of salt, pepper and sugar to taste
Oh, wait... make sure you have your pork or fish on the grill while preparing this salad! That would make a real enjoyable perfect hearty meal.

Enjoy your weekend!!!
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  1. I've thought about growing bitter melon, but did not know what to do with it. Thank you for the recipe! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures


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