Do you eat Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd (a.k.a. Ampalaya)?

Bitter Gourd (Ampalaya) - A picture of Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd. In Tagalog (Philippine term) it is called Ampalaya.
@jillann (780)
Philippines
November 29, 2006 7:41pm CST
Do you eat Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd (a.k.a. Ampalaya)? Ampalaya (Tagalog) or Amargozo (Aklanon). Known in the west as Chinese bitter melon or bitter gourd, ampalaya became popular in the news recently because of its putative medicinal value especially against HIV/AIDS (Compound Q). In folk medicine, the bitter this vegetable is, the more medicinal value it has. We were always reminded during elementarygrades to eat our ampalaya because it is rich in iron. It probably is. It's really an ugly looking vegetable and considered an acquired taste because of its bitterness. The smaller (or more elongate) and greener variety is more bitter than the larger (or plumper) pale green ones that are usually found in Asian-American markets (see picture). So, do you eat your Ampalaya? I do, I usually cook like like with eggs, as an omelet or as a salad (with onions and tomatoes). Once you get used to it, it's not that bitter anymore. You should try it.
2 people like this
23 responses
@tmnjyk (3486)
• Canada
10 Dec 06
ampalaya - ampalaya
The truth is I don't eat any vegetable except corn. I know a lot of people that don't eat ampalaya but eat some other vegetables. I think eating Ampalaya is like you are in a fear factor to me. I could eat balut but Ampalaya nah! impossible!
1 person likes this
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
10 Dec 06
Corn is vegetable? I didn't know that. hehehe.. thanks for the info. I felt the same way when I just started out eating Ampalaya. It was so bitter. I just started eating it when I was 18.
@tmnjyk (3486)
• Canada
10 Dec 06
corn on the cob - corn on the cob
I was also surprised that here in Canada, most people categorize corn as vegetables. I know why you were surprised when I said corn is a vegetable, that is because we always associate corn with a fruit. Corn on the cob.
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
10 Dec 06
Yes, amazing fact that corn is actually a vegetable. hehehe..
• United Arab Emirates
18 Dec 06
Many people do not like this vegetable because of its bitter taste but in my case... it is one of my favorites among the green veggies. We also call it Amargozo in my native language (Ilonggo) and its scientific name is Momordica Charantia Linn. It acquires its bitter taste from the alkaloid momordicin present in it. It has been believed to aid in the prevention of diabetes but this claims are still undergoing a thorough study. When it comes to cooking it, i also liked it as what you have mentioned but there's another way i love it cooked... the "ampalaya con carne" or beef-ampalaya.
• Qatar
19 Dec 06
my favorite..beef-ampalaya. tastes very nice once you get used to eating ampalaya.
• United Arab Emirates
21 Dec 06
oh! we're on the same boat... hahah!
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
26 Dec 06
Yummy... I also like ampalaya with beef... Now that's making me hungry. hehehe
@chello63 (305)
• Philippines
30 Nov 06
i love to eat amplaya because it's rich in iron i can testify that because when im sick during my high school yr and they told me that im anemic.. im already started to eat till its not that bitter to me anymore. im fond eating amplaya specially when my mom cook Pinakbet..
1 person likes this
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
30 Nov 06
I used to not eat Ampalaya because of the bitter taste, but since my mother always force us to eat it. I soon got used to its taste, as long as there's lots of egg in it. hehehe Thanks for your response
• Philippines
21 Dec 06
you should soak it first in saltd water to minimize its bitter taste. i loved it ginisa, with egg and tomatoes and mang tomas gravy...hehehehe
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@luannemay (258)
• Philippines
24 Apr 07
i eat ampalaya, usually i saute them put scrambled egg, or i make them into salad
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@jillann (780)
• Philippines
26 Apr 07
I also cook my ampalaya that way. It's delicious with eggs. Yumm
@Mikaelo (191)
• Philippines
22 Jan 07
Yuck! I'd take any vegetables except that one. I hate bitter foods. (^_^)
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@jillann (780)
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
Hehehehe... Thanks for sharing your sentiments.
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• Philippines
19 Dec 06
oh i dont eat ampalaya. i hate its taste. i dont know why other people love eating that vegetable. but i believe it has a medicinal value, it is said thet its good for diabetics.
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@jillann (780)
• Philippines
21 Dec 06
Well... Maybe they don't really like its taste. They just got used to eating ampalaya and started enjoying it also.
@clickerz (471)
• Philippines
15 Dec 06
ampalaya... - Ampalaya eaten raw is the best!!
I love ampalaya. I love to eat raw. Just slice and pu some vinegar and salt, its a good appetizer. Rich in iron and it is heelpfull when you have a diabetes. Hope you like it...Ampalaya eating challenge? just informed me..lolz
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
17 Dec 06
Yes, ampalaya prepared as salad sure is a good appetizer. Thanks for your response.
• Philippines
15 Dec 06
when i was a kid.. i hate ampalaya.... but eventually im getting to like it.. actually i love it! cooks... with egg.. and my mom put tomatoe sauce with it.. hmm Yummy! hehehe
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@jillann (780)
• Philippines
17 Dec 06
Tomato sauce huh? Maybe I'll try adding that ingredient on my ampalaya next time I prepare it. Thanks!
@toonatoons (3739)
• Philippines
10 Dec 06
i've heard so much of the medicinal properties of ampalaya, but i never knew this has been found to treat hiv/aids as well. i know it to be rich in iron, and has properties to lower/regulate blood sugar levels. my mom eats this --- she has to because she has diabetes. my sister drinks its juice. i can't get myself to eat it, though. i don't know why. but even if it's cooked with egg and tomatoes, i still couldn't bring myself to eat it.
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
10 Dec 06
Maybe it's because you don't like its taste. If you start tasting just a bit everyday, you will soon get used to it. Thanks for your response.
• Philippines
3 Dec 06
i do. i usually eat it with eggs. or with other veggies. my mom said it really helps if a person is anemic. i'm not really sure if there's truth in that. but i have seen food supplements containing ampalaya and it claims to cure or prevent diabetes. what i'm sure of is, it is good for our health snce its a veggie. (",)
1 person likes this
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
3 Dec 06
Thanks for your response.
• Philippines
3 Dec 06
yes, i eat ampalaya, prepared just like how you did. it's not only rich in iron but also in vitamin a, which boosts our immune system.
1 person likes this
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
3 Dec 06
Yes, eating Ampalaya is good for our health indeed. Thanks for your response.
@xypher22 (20)
• Philippines
29 Apr 07
The last time that I ate ampalaya was when I was 8yrs old. We used to have an ampalaya plant on our backyard. Anyway, that was the first, and also the last time that I ate ampalaya. I really hate the taste of it because its so bitter. Since then, I have really avoided any dishes containing ampalaya. I dont' think that I would be eating ampalaya again, trauma from childhood experince I guess, hahaha...
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• Philippines
16 Dec 06
well it is common to our country jillann and i think majority eats bitter melon not because of its nutritional value but because it is a very cheapest viand you can have. right? lol
• Australia
10 Dec 06
Nah! don't eat it. I actually hate this vegetable when my mom cook this for the family I just couldn't eat it! Yuck!
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
10 Dec 06
Hehehe.. This vegetable is truly hard to love.
@tmnjyk (3486)
• Canada
10 Dec 06
ehheh you are not alone girl! hehehe
@cessy1 (1748)
• Philippines
30 Nov 06
yes i eat it but only because my mom cooks it and there's no other choice..she makes sure that when she cooks bitter melon, there will be no other option..haha so i just eat it than starve :p
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
30 Nov 06
hehehe... Mothers know best. Thanks for your response
@blueman (16513)
• India
30 Nov 06
good info, i sometimes like to eat bitter fruits.
@jillann (780)
• Philippines
30 Nov 06
thanks for your response
@kaka135 (14258)
• Malaysia
11 Dec 08
I didn't like to eat bitter gourd when I was young, but I don't know recently I started to like eating it. I suppose it's because I need to prepare the dish for my husband and also it's good for health, so after trying a few times, I began to like it. ^_^
@rhane7315 (5655)
• Philippines
13 Jun 08
i do. the only veggy that i don't eat was a squash
@viking888 (390)
• Philippines
17 Dec 06
Hi Jilann, You sure are an authority on bitter gourd -Ampalaya in our language- and It is a good thing that you admire this veggie. A lot of people just do not know the benefits of eating this vegetable that is abhored by those people who has not had a chance to develop a taste for it. I also eat it raw with just salt and some vinegar and a sprinkling of some really hot "sili" (chili). Uhhmmm! tasty if taken also with rice. Whenever I see it in the market, I have an urge to buy it. I would even take the time and effort to really select the best ones, and prepare it as a salad. Some say you should squeeze out the bitter juice that comes out of it, but me? Nope! I keep it to maintain the bitter flavour. I know, as you said, one has to develop the taste for it to like it.
• Singapore
16 Dec 06
yes i do, but then, i havent get used to the taste, and i dont like it very much either.. =S