Finally! I got my hands on some fresh bitter melons and I turned them into one of my favorite vegetable dishes of all time, stir fry with chicken, tofu and eggs.
Just like many pinoy dishes, you can swap the chicken with other types of meat such as pork or beef or even shrimps.
Some people would squeeze the bitter juice out of the vegetable before cooking but I prefer it as it is. Bitter melon or ampalaya in Tagalog and Amargozo in Chavacano, is packed with nutrients and fiber, it is believed to help control blood sugar levels among type 2 diabetics. I would sometimes eat it raw in salad but that’s a recipe for another day.
2 large bitter melons, halved, deseeded and sliced thinly
200 grams of boneless chicken breast, sliced thinly
200 grams hard tofu, fried and sliced into strips
3 eggs, beaten
oil for sauteing and frying
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
salt and pepper to taste
1 pc chicken buillon
- Wash bitter melons. Cut lengthwise and scrape off the inner white parts and seeds. Slice into thin strips. If you want to lessen the bitterness, extract the juice from the meat by sprinkling a tablespoon of salt and allow to sit for five minutes. Squeeze out the juice then rinse and drain.
- Season chicken strips with salt and pepper. You may also add garlic and ginger powder if available.
- Fry tofu and cut into strips. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and saute garlic and onion until soft and fragrant.
- Add the chicken pieces and fry until slightly brown. Season with chicken bouillon. You may add a tbsp of water to allow the chicken pieces to cook.
- Add bitter melon and tofu. Toss to combine.
- After a minute, create a well in the center of the pan and pour the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs until cooked and combine all the ingredients in the pan. Serve hot