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Ampalaya is a vegetable grown throughout the Philippines. It is mostly cultivated, although wild forms can be found. It grows wild in the remote areas of Mt. Banahaw. As the English name suggests (bitter melon), the has a bitter taste due to the presence of Momordicin. One way of enjoying this vegetable is to cook it with beaten egg.
- ½ lb ampalaya (bitter melon or bitter gourd)
- 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 scallion
- 2 medium-sized onions
- 4 tbsp veg oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 small tomatoes, chopped
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Trim away the two pointed ends of the ampalaya and cut them in half lengthwise.
- Remove the pale, seeded section with a spoon and discard it.
- Cut the darker green outer shells crosswise, at a slight diagonal, into ¼ inch wide strips.
- Prepare a solution of 2 cups water and 1 tbsp salt in a bowl.
- Put the ampalaya strips into this bowl and set aside for 2 hours.
- Drain the ampalaya and rinse the strips under running water.
- Drain again and pat dry.
- Cut the scallion into 2 inch lengths and then cut each section lengthwise into thin strips.
- Peel the onions and cut them in half lengthwise; then slice them into fine half rings.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium flame.
- When hot, put in the garlic, fry until garlic is light brown.
- Add the onions.
- Stir and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes.
- Stir and fry 2 minutes.
- Add ampalaya, turn down the heat.
- Stir occasionally and fry around 10 minutes or until ampalaya is tender.
- Stir in beaten eggs and the salt.
- Stir and cook as you would scrambled eggs until eggs have reached a consistency you like.
- Remove from heat, add scallion strips and serve.