Friday, September 24, 2010

Sauteed Bitter Melons (Guinisang Ampalaya)

I was browsing the produce at the Marietta Farmers Market the other day when one of the vendors asked me if I am "Filipino".  I was surprised as to how he singled me out as Filipino (turned out he lived in the Philippines when he was with the army) but even more surprised when he brought out some beautiful and newly harvested bitter melons -- I didn't think twice about buying the whole lot.. it's one of my favorite vegetable.

I am preparing it the easiest and yummiest way I know how to -- sauteed with shrimps and left over rotisserie chicken.

Sauteed Bitter Melons (Guinisang Ampalaya) with Steamed Jasmine Rice

2 T canola oil
1 medium yellow onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
2-3 T fish sauce
1/2 lb. shrimps, peeled, veined, cut lengthwise
1 cup left over rotisserie chicken, shredded
4 medium bitter melons, seeded, sliced

In medium heat, add oil in pan.  Add onion, then the garlic and cooked just until caramelized.  Add tomatoes and cook until it starts separating from skin.  Add the fish sauce and let it simmer for about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken and the shrimp and cook until pink, about a minute.  Stir in the bitter melons and cook until soften/transparent, about 10 minutes.  Taste and add sea salt as needed.  Remove from heat and serve immediately with steamed rice.

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