Deutsch: Gebratener Bittermelone / Español: Amargoso salteado / Português: Refogado de Melão Amargo / Français: Courge amère sautée / Italiano: Melone amaro saltato

Ginisang Ampalaya in the food context refers to a traditional Filipino dish made from sautéed bitter melon (ampalaya) with garlic, onion, and tomato, often including beaten eggs and sometimes meat like pork or shrimp. This dish is valued both for its distinctive bitter flavor, which is considered appetizing and refreshing by many, and for its health benefits, as ampalaya is known to be rich in vitamins and minerals, and it's particularly noted for its potential to regulate blood sugar levels.


The essence of Ginisang Ampalaya lies in embracing the natural bitterness of the bitter melon as a feature rather than a flaw. The preparation involves slicing the ampalaya thinly, then sautéing it with garlic, onion, and tomato to create a flavorful base. Beaten eggs are often added to the mix, creating a rich, slightly scrambled texture that contrasts nicely with the crispness of the ampalaya. The addition of meat or seafood turns it into a more substantial meal. To reduce the bitterness, the sliced ampalaya may be rubbed with salt and then rinsed before cooking.

Application Areas

Ginisang Ampalaya is commonly served as:

  • A Main Dish: Often accompanied by steamed rice as part of a typical Filipino meal.
  • A Health Food: Appreciated for its nutritional value, especially for those monitoring their blood sugar levels.
  • A Vegetarian Option: When prepared without meat, making it suitable for vegetarians and those looking to add more vegetables to their diet.

Well-Known Examples

While the basic Ginisang Ampalaya recipe is quite straightforward, variations include:

  • Ginisang Ampalaya with Egg: The addition of eggs softens the bitterness and adds protein.
  • Ginisang Ampalaya with Pork or Shrimp: Provides a savory depth and richness to the dish, balancing the ampalaya's bitter flavor.
  • Ginisang Ampalaya with Tofu: A popular variation for those seeking a plant-based protein source.


A basic recipe for Ginisang Ampalaya involves:

  1. Ingredients:

    • 1-2 ampalaya (bitter melon), halved, seeded, and sliced thinly
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 1 tomato, chopped
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Oil for sautéing
    • (Optional) pork or shrimp
  2. Preparation:

    • If desired, rub the sliced ampalaya with salt and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing under cold water to reduce bitterness.
    • Heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic, onion, and tomato until softened.
    • Add the ampalaya and cook until it begins to soften.
    • If using meat, add it at this stage and cook thoroughly.
    • Pour the beaten eggs over the ampalaya mixture, gently stirring to distribute the eggs until set.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with rice.

Treatment and Risks

Ginisang Ampalaya is largely considered a healthy dish. However, for those sensitive to bitter flavors, the dish's characteristic taste might be challenging. The bitterness can be mitigated by proper preparation, but it's also part of the dish's appeal, offering a unique flavor profile that complements the richer, sweeter, and more savory components of a meal.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Sautéed Bitter Melon


Ginisang Ampalaya is a celebrated Filipino dish that highlights the bitter melon's unique taste in a nutritious, flavorful sauté with garlic, onion, tomato, and eggs. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger meal, it stands as a testament to the Filipino culinary tradition of embracing a wide range of flavors, including the healthful bitterness of ampalaya.


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