Pinoy Friday – Ginisang Umapalaya

Pinoy Friday dish
Ginisang Umpalaya (Sauteed Bitter Melon/Bitter Gourd)

When I was younger I never used to like this dish. The bitter melon had too strong a flavour for my liking. It was always something I just ate because I had to. Little did I know that my parents wanted us to eat it due to all the health benefits bitter melon offered. Bitter melon is low in calories, known to lower blood sugar levels, is a good source of folate and Vitamin C, other vitamins and much more!

The other day I really felt like cooking ginisang umpalaya (sauteed bitter melon). We’d been having a lot of meat and I wanted to try a different veggie dish other than just roast or stir fried potatoes and beans etc.

Thanks to my cousin, I learnt that it was a super easy and fast dish to cook. We cut the umpalaya into thin slices and soaked it in some salt water to take the edge of the strong bitter taste. Then it was just a matter of sauteing the garlic and onions then adding some pork for extra taste. Tomatoes, some patis (fish sauce) and a little seasoning together with the umapalaya and some egg to top it off and that’s it! Serve it with rice and you’ve got an easy weeknight dish. Substitute the pork for some fried fish on the side for a different twist.