How To Cook The Best Ginisang Ampalaya Recipe

“It’s Bitterly Delicious and Healthy To The Body”

Bitter might be the least loved among the five basic tastes. Therefore, dishes that dominantly have a bitter taste are at the bottom of the preparation list!
Best Ginisang Ampalaya or Sauteed bitter melon is not appreciated by many. There are just a few people that find it interesting, and I’m of the pro-Sauteed bitter squash.

What is the Best Ginisang Ampalaya(Sauteed Bitter Melon) Recipe

Want to know more about it? Read on!

Sauteed Bitter squash is one of the most avoided dishes in the Philippines, especially by kids. This dish has a bitter taste because the main ingredient, which is the bitter squash, tastes bitter.

However, the dish also contains a bit of pork and chicken meat, and sometimes shrimps. It has soup, which also tends to taste bitter. 

The main ingredient of this dish is Ampalaya or bittermelon/squash. Its scientific name is Momordica charantia. 

This bitter melon is a green and long herbal plant known for its bitter taste. It is from the South Indian state of Kerala, and it was introduced to China in the 14th century.

ginisang ampalaya in a bowl
(Photo Credits toFud Expe Youtube)

Medical Benefits Of Ampalaya

Its bitterness has many benefits to our body. It is especially beneficial for people with Diabetes.

Bitter melon or Ampalaya contains iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and many more.

It has several chemicals that seem to act like insulin and help to lower blood sugar levels.

While this isn’t for everyone because of the taste, I still find it delicious and healthy at the same time. If you have never tried this dish, it’s time to be open to this. Give your palate a chance to taste this bitterly delicious dish.


This wonderful recipe is easy to make that you can think of some extra ingredient to add on. Another factor is why there are lots of variations to this recip0e is because there are many ways to hide the bitterness of the bitter-melon. Whichever variation you choose, we guarantee that it will be delicious in its way.

Ginisang Ampalaya (Sauteed Bitter Melon) with Egg Recipes

ampalaya cuts
(Photo Credits to: pepper)

This is the most popular variation of this dish for Filipinos. Not just because it is easy to make, but because of its fantastic flavor. The eggs help remove the bitter flavor of the bitter-melon. Beat the eggs first before incorporating them in the preparation.

Ginisang Ampalaya with Miso Recipes

bittergourd sliced and knife
(Photo Credits to: pepper)

This variant uses a Japanese seasoning called Miso, which is salty and slightly sour. Filipinos commonly use Miso in making soups like Sinigang. If you fear that this might turn sour, don’t worry because Miso will do its wonders in hiding away the bitter taste in recipes like this.

Sauteed Bitter Squash with Dried Shrimps

Bitter and salty is a fantastic pair. This is where the idea of adding dried shrimp to recipes like this came from. Also, it would be fulfilling to eat recipes like this with a hint of seafood. It will surely break down the bitterness of the bitter apple.

Sauteed Bitter Squash with Pork

Who would not love a slice of meat in any dish? Well, we can say that Filipinos love pork. Also, the natural fat that the pork excretes during cooking adds a fantastic flavor to the bitter-melon. Moreover, that wonderful savory flavor will burst in your mouth, and it will feel like heaven. 

Sauteed Bitter Squash with Beef and Oyster Sauce

This bitter veggie is hard to handle for some because of its flavor. Even sauteeing with fantastic flavors to hide away, the bitterness is a bit challenging. In that sense, add oyster sauce and beef, and we guarantee you an excellent result. 

The flavor of thinly sliced beef and oyster sauce added to this bitter veggie is a sure win over dinner. Make sure that the beef that you are going to use is fresh to achieve the desired flavors.

Sauteed Bitter Squash with Soy Sauce and Tomatoes

Now we call this variant the Adobo Sauteed Bitter-melon. As we have mentioned earlier, salty and bitter flavors go well together. So let us use soy sauce as the salty ingredient. 

In preparing this variant, all you have to do is follow the original recipe. You can also add sliced tomatoes to balance out the saltiness. Don’t worry; it will not ruin recipes like this. You can also add a little umami to recipes like this. Once everything is sauteed perfectly, add a dash of soy sauce. Don’t put too much soy sauce. About five tablespoons of it are okay for one regular-sized bitter-melon.

Troubleshooting Ginisang Ampalaya Recipes

With its dominantly bitter flavor, this bold dish will always be criticized by many, so making these preparation mistakes adds to recipes like this bitter fortune. Here are tips to fix them.

Too bitter- Oh yes, it’s obvious, and there’s no doubt it will be a problem for some, so to fix this, try squeezing the lemon to it and add cheese and more eggs to have somehow other texture to chew aside from Bitter Squash. You can also add the flavored stock, like Pork stock, to at least dilute bitterness.  

Filipinos also believe that stirring the bitter squash while making it is a factor that makes recipes like this extra bitter. It is a Filipino superstitious belief, but to our surprise, it is a factor to consider in real life.


Did you know that there are lots of countries that use ampalaya fruit in their cuisine and medicines? But of course, each country has its colloquial term for this bitter tasting heaven gift. 

The most common colloquial term as follows:

  • Bitter Apple
  • Bitter Squash 
  • Balsam Pear
  • African Cucumber
  • Balsam Byrne
  • Carilla Fruit
  • Vegetable Insulin
  • Wild Cucumber

Whatever you call Ampalaya in your area, it will still have the same good medicinal and cuisine value.

Tips to Lessen Bittergourd’s Bitter Flavors

The dish’s bitterness is what makes it off for some people, so if we track the source, it’s from the Bitter squash. Thus, here is a step by step guide to help lessen the bitterness of this vegetable.

First, With the help of the peeler, scrape off the surface from the top. 

Second, remove its seeds. Then, slice it thinly.

In a bowl, put the sliced bitter squash. 

Then, add salt to it. Salt will bring out the bitter juice of the Bitter Squash.

Drain it. Then, repeat 2-3 times to remove more bitter juice.

But be aware that losing all that juice means losing some of the essential nutrients in the vegetable.

Best Served With

Indeed, this not so well-loved dish by many needs back up, so here are some dishes that go well with it. 

  1. Rice- lessen the bitter flavor with the help of hot steamed rice. 
  2. Pork Nilaga as mentioned earlier, pork stock can help fix the overly bitter taste of our start dish for today, but Pork Nilaga, with its Umami soup, is on another level. Try sipping this soup after every spoon of Sauteed Bitter Squash. 
  3. Binagoongan Baboy With its sweet and salty shrimp paste or Bagoong a little crispy pork meat, it blends with the flavors of Sauteed Bitter Squash. 
  4. Pork Giniling Guisado this ground pork dish with sweet and sour sauce can make up for the missing flavors in Sauteed Bitter Squash. 
  5. Pork Menudo– just like the Giniling Guisado, this sweet and sour pork dish can make you forget the Ampalaya dish’s flavor. After digesting a spoon of rice and Sauteed Bitter Squash, have a spoon of Menudo. Just don’t mix the sauteed ampalaya and pork menudo, and do it alternately.  
  6. Chicken Barbeque– this chicken marinated in sweet sauce is just a perfect partner for this bitter dish. Chicken Barbecue will make you forget about that unwanted bitter taste extraordinarily. 
  7. Leche Flan– Let’s end the dining table gathering with a decadent dessert that can wash away the bitterness left in your palate because of its creamy and sweet flavors. Leche Flan is a fantastic way to end up with an excellent dish.


Most home chefs have neglected Ampalaya because no one dares to eat it, especially the kids. Some adults have grown to hate this vegetable as well. Amazingly, you have reached this part of the article because we love sharing amazing things, especially for foods often neglected by the crowd. 

Now that you have read everything about sauteed bitter-melon, it is now your turn to change your perspective about this vegetable. Also, you can innovate this dish even more to make the kids love it. Once you do so, let us know. Nothing can stop you from having a delicious and healthy meal.

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

colorful and tasty ginisang ampalaya
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5 from 1 vote

Superb Ginisang Ampalaya Recipe

Are you craving something healthy? Then this dish is perfect for you. Yes, we know it isn't enjoyable, but believe us when we say that you can nail it by following our recipes. Cook and Enjoy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Ginisang Ampalaya, Ginisang Ampalaya Recipe, how to cook the best ginisang ampalaya, Vegetable recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 79kcal
Author Eat Like Pinoy
Cost $5-$20


  • 2 pcs Ampalaya medium sized, seeded, cut into half moons
  • 1/4 kl ground pork
  • 2 tbsp salt more to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 red onion peeled, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, chopped
  • 3 pcs tomatoes regular size, sliced
  • 1/4 cup water or Pork or Chicken stock
  • 2 pcs Egg large, beaten
  • Ground pepper to taste


  • Put bitter squash/melon in a medium bowl. Sprinkle some salt and add lukewarm water, then set aside for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, place the bitter squash/melon in a clean cloth where you can squeeze it tightly. Squeeze until the water drip-off.
  • Sauté garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Mash tomatoes mildly. Once mashed, toss in ground pork.
  • Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and add ¼ cup of water or stock. Please bring it to a boil. Wait for at least 5 minutes.
  • Then, add bitter squash/melon. Wait for at least 10 minutes or until cooked.
    Tip: don't mix or stir continuously, as this might add extra bitterness to the dish.
  • Once the bitter gourd is cooked, pour in scrambled eggs. Stir.
  • Then turn off the heat.
  • Serve it hot on a serving plate. Enjoy!


Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 3516mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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