Wednesday, August 31, 2011

bitter melon IS yummy

like i have mentioned before i am far from a culinary expert in the kitchen
but my mom on other hand is the best cook
i know, i know, everyone thinks their mom is the best cook
but my mom is seriously the best cook

when i'm in the kitchen i try to make
traditional filipino foods that my mom made for me growing up
it's nice knowing that my girls are enjoying the same food that i grew up eating
and like my mom often says, she won't be around forever, 
so i have to learn her recipes now
the only downside with learning to cook from my mom is 
she doesn't measure ingredients when she cooks
so when she is telling me how to make something it goes something like this
my mom: ok, now add a little bit of this, a little bit of that
me: what's a little bit mom?
my mom: oh, you know, a little bit...

oh man! i tell you there have been times
when i have been crying over the stove thinking that it's not working, 
telling my hubs he better run out and get some dinner and voila! 
it somehow turns out and tastes just like (well not just like) my moms!

so, i'm going to share with you a fairly simple filipino dish called
ampalaya (bitter melon) with egg
it's a fairly simple recipe and bitter melon is very nutritious 
don't be turned off by it's name because it is very delicious!
and don't worry i include measurements!

ingredients you will need:

3 medium sized ampalaya or bitter gourd, sliced thinly
1 clove of  garlic, crushed
1 onion sliced thinly
3 tomatoes, diced
4 eggs, beaten
some salt and pepper to taste
fish sauce to taste


1. in a pan, saute garlic, onion, and tomatoes until slightly tender
add some patis or fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
2. add ampalaya and 1/2 cup of water. let it simmer for 5 minutes.
3. when ampalaya is tender, stir in the beaten eggs and cook for another 5 minutes. the ampalaya should be a light green colour, if it's dark green, it has been overcooked.

**you don't want to cover cook the ampalaya! it taste best when it still has a bit of crunch when eaten**

serve over jasmine rice by itself or as a side dish. 
taste super delicious when paired with
any kind of barbeque dish!

it's quick, healthy and delicious! and my girls love it!


HazelWea said...

omg. My mom is the EXACT same way when it comes to explaining recipes to me. She doesn't measure ANYTHING. Between that and her heavy accent, it kills me! hahaha =)

Tang said...

I'm sooo with you on that! I want to learn ALL my mom's recipes too and cook them for my family one day. So now I try to help with the cooking when I am over at the parents' so I can learn too. I've been trying to record them all in a recipe book. :)

Bubbles said...

Thanks for sharing this, my mum is the same with measurements and in the end tells me just to do whatever I think :|... so I make it up as I go along too and find it hard when writing recipes for my blog which is why I try and pick the nearest one to it in a search.

I love bitter gourd (karela in Pakistan), we tend to fry it. Its mainly eaten with mince meat, so cut into tiny pieces like you've done and put it in mince or fill half slices with mince and tie the two pieces together then fry it. My mums learnt a recipe from a friend where you make it like a curry with yogurt and it takes so good.

Joanne | Life's Fascinations said...

My mom is the same way too! Maybe most filipino moms are like that when giving directions on how to cook. I like exact measurements. That's why I prefer baking over cooking.

My mom's makes ampalaya too! Except I never really developed a taste for it. Maybe I'll try out your recipe. It might change my mind. :)

Thanks for sharing. :)

Alexandra said...

That is one of the hardest parts for me of writing a food blog... I'm definitely an "estimating" kind of cook, and so when it comes to quantifying for my blog I have to remember to get as specific as possible! I'm sure you're a better cook than you give yourself credit for :-)

Jean said...

awww bitter melons & mom's cooking.. sure reminds me of my mom, too! as much as i try to cook like her... it never turns out the same!

i used cookie cutters for my heart shaped sandwiches. though it was not a straight edge, rather swirly or whatever. you can use any cookie cutter that will fit the bread. try it w/ your girls! they will love it!

Therese said...

A tasty sounding side dish, lovely.

Mums are the funniest things at times!

beckie said...

cooking with my parents are the same way. they are never clear with the measurements so i can't really copy down a recipe to follow!

Elisse said...

I'm not a fan of this dish, but reading this post reminds me of how much my Dad loves it! Mom usually just makes it for his benefit. Thanks for sharing!

Marina said...

It looks great! My mum is also like that, and she doesn't know for how long do I have to cook something! She just says: You will see when it's done. ??

Cat said...

Yummers! This looks delish and refreshing :) How sweet of you to share!

♥ Cat brideblu

Sarah said...

Wow that looks amazing! So healthy too!

- Sarah

Alely said...

haha! these filipino moms of ours...i feel your pain about the whole measurement thing which is true because even when i follow a recipe from a filipino cookbook with exact measurements it doesn't turn out. i'm slowly but surely learning how to do a little of this and a little of that myself and sometimes it comes out the way lola's does and sometimes it's a fail!