Sunday, February 24, 2013

rellenong ampalaya (stuffed bitter gourd)


· 3 pieces regular size ampalaya (about 10inches long, & straight)

for the fillings: 
·         1 liter water (mixed with 1 teaspoon salt)

·         1 tablespoon butter
·         1 tablespoon cooking oil
·         4 cloves garlic (Taiwan, minced)
·         1 red onion (regular size, cut into small cubes)
·         ¼  kilo ground or minced lean pork
·         2 pieces bell pepper (minced)
·         30 pieces raisins
·         1 cup grated carrots
·         1 teaspoon refined/iodized salt
·         ½ teaspoon pounded peppercorn (black pepper
·         1 teaspoon brown sugar

for the batter: 

·         2 medium-sized chicken eggs (beaten lightly)
·         4 tablespoon (heaped) all-purpose flour
·         ¼ teaspoon refined/iodized salt
·         3 tablespoon water

for frying:

·         1 cup cooking oil

for the dipping sauce:

·         banana catsup or sweet chili sauce

cooking utensils needed:

·         mixing bow
·         teaspoon
·         fork
·         medium with flat-bottom frying pan
·         sharp knife

cooking procedure:

Wash clean the ampalaya and cut into halves. Remove the core/pith of ampalaya. Use the handle of teaspoon to reach the end side. 

Boil the ampalaya in water with little salt till half-cooked (do not overcook to keep it from becoming limp). Remove from boiling water, let cool, and set aside.


Heat the pan high, then sauté the garlic and onions in butter and cooking oil till garlic is lightly browned and the onion is translucent. Add the ground pork, and stir till the meat is no longer pink. 

Add the bell pepper and raisins, followed with the grated carrots, and lower the heat/flame to medium. Stir till carrot is mixed well with other ingredients. Sprinkle with salt, peppercorn, and sugar. Stir for a while, just enough to mix well, then remove pan from the stove, let cool, and set aside.

When cool, fill the ampalaya with the cooked fillings. Use the handle of teaspoon to push in the stuff. Press the filling in to thoroughly fill the cavity.

Prepare the batter. Beat the chicken eggs, add the water and salt, and then gradually add the flour. Mix well to become batter.

Take the filled ampalayas and roll them in the batter to coat.

 Heat the pan with cooking oil and fry the batter-coated filled ampalayas till the batter hardens. 

  Turn over to cook the other side, pour more batter on the ampalaya to thicken the coating. 

Cooking is done when the coating is crisp and brown.

To serve, slice the stuffed ampalaya and pour sweet chili sauce  or tamis-anghang (sweet-spicy hot) catsup on top, or serve the dip on the side.


You may add more ingredients in the fillings to make it more flavorful and special, such as shelled small shrimps, shredded chicken meat (previously fried or cooked adobo-style), minced chives, chopped spring onions, minced wantsuy, minced pickled cucumber,  etc.

If there are more fillings left, you can make a burger patty or meat balls from it. Sprinkle flour, salt and black pepper on it then mix and mold into patties or meat balls and pan fry to cook.

About Me

My photo

Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary - the first and only published Pinoy food and dining dictionary. The book won the national category as Philippine's finalist to the Gourmand Awards international food writing contest in Yantai, Shandong, China to be held in May 2017. A lexicographer who began to compile and wrote his first vernacular dictionaries at the age of 14. A collector of contemporary and vintage dictionaries, both local and foreign.  A linguist studying the many dialects you can find in the Philippines. A blogger maintaining at least 11 blog sites. A researcher of food culture, Pinoy pop culture, interesting places and structures in the country, local transportations, Philippine churches and other places of worship of any religion and beliefs, local anthropology, socio-cultural issues, and whatever interesting about the Philippines and the Filipinos. A visual artist who uses pencil, watercolor, pen, and fingers as medium of expression - once an editorial cartoonist of local broadsheet and campus publications. Created his first hand-made comics magazine and participated the Marian watercolor exhibits in his hometown parish while in high school. A photographer taking at least 2K photos a week in the field while on travel for almost two decades now.  A poet hiding most of the time. A low-profile historian studying continually the origins, history, and progression of many places in the country. A computer programmer who wrote the codes and designed the software application of his digital Cebuano-English dictionary and distributed it for free around the country and over the internet. A traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints anywhere in the country.  A holder of professional driver's license once took the wheels for UBER. A home cook who loves to enhance, modify, elaborate, experiment if not invent more of  Pinoy dishes and delicacies.