For Real: You Can Remove Bitterness From Ampalaya Before Cooking

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There are ways you can remove the bitterness from the ampalaya or bitter gourd. Its characteristic bitter taste is why many do not like eating this vegetable. You can remove it by trying any of these ways: 

  1. 1 Rub it with salt and then rinsing.
  2. 2 Soak it in salty water. 
  3. 3 Rinse it. 

There is another way that we learned about that involved soaking it in saltwater and then boiling it with sugar. Another way is to deep fry the thinly sliced ampalaya so the deep-fried flavors will help mask the bitterness.  

Have you tried any of these ways when preparing ampalaya? Did it work? Did it work enough that you were able to eat the ampalaya dish without grimacing because of the bitter taste? If you tried but think the bitter taste is still too much that you just don't want to eat the dish, we have good news. 


We have tried several ways and found there's a way to do it that's easy, doesn't require cooking it twice, and best of all, is actually effective

How do you prepare your ampalaya so it doesn't taste bitter?
Photo by Mira Angeles
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This is the easiest and (we think) most effective way we found among these to get that bitterness out for real: Combine soaking it in salty water and squeezing or massaging the ampalaya in the saltwater. This is best done when the ampalaya is cut into thin slices that are not too thick. The massaging or squeezing helps release the bitterness from the vegetable. 


Here's how to do it:  

  1. 1 Prepare the ampalaya by slicing the ampalaya in half, removing the pithy core and seeds, and slicing it thinly. (Alternatively, you can core the ampalaya and slice it into rounds.) 
  2. 2 Fill a bowl with water, season it with a large pinch of salt, and add the ampalaya. Lightly squeeze or massage the ampalaya slices then set the bowl aside for at least 5 minutes.
  3. 3 After the soaking, drain, rinse, pat dry the ampalaya pieces, and use according to the recipe. 

Curious to try the method? Here are recipes to try it on: 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here.

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