Friday, May 2, 2014

Magic Ampalaya

I'd just like to start off by saying that the title's a little nonsensical but what I'm saying here is that I found a way to make ampalaya so awesome you could just finish a whole of it and end with wanting more. Sounds like magic to me!

Dear Ampalaya, 

I know people have used you to describe ill emotions and unfinished issues aka bitterness in life or love or work or what not (your name is bitter melon, so...), but I'd just like to say that you are one bitter pill that people need to be so much healthier and alive. Ghad you are both a literal and a metaphorical analogy for needing some dose of bitterrness to be healthy in all aspects of life! You are so awesome like that I don't even know why I need you to be less bitter, when it's this true trait that makes you who you are that wins or loses people. But for many to appreciate you more, let's just try this one out and make you less of an acquired taste, shall we?

Let's do this!

Cut the ampalaya like you would normally, and don't even be scared of cutting them a bit thicker. Crunch is good so go ahead! After cutting, let it sit in a salt-water solution for about 30 minutes. This would ~remove/lessen~ the bitterness.

While that's happening, slice some tomatoes and onions. The amount is up to you, but I LOVE tomatoes so one whole ampalaya equates to 4 tomatoes for me, and somewhere between a quarter to half an onion.

So you could see up there that we need 2 types of vinegar: the ~normal~ and the cane versions. You see, my sister is addicted to vinegar that we have a number of kinds here at home. Aside from those pictured above, we also have Datu Puti's Spiced Vinegar, Datu Puti's Sukang Iloko (Sugarcane Vinegar), and Mama Sita's Anghang Sarap (Spiced Tuba Vinegar) - all of which I honestly don't know where best to use. For this project, Datu Puti's Cane Vinegar was chosen at random-reasoning ranking, with the Sukang Iloko being a tight second. (The reasoning sounded like "..sooo i think cane would be a good try. Yep let's go with that..")

We also need sugar and salt and pepper, as always!

The easiest part comes next, (the cutting's the hardest! I know right!) the actual mixing!

Get your bowl, and mix the 2 vinegars in whatever ratio you'd like. I'd say half-and-half, but I'd be lying because I don't really measure. I will have to say though that you may want more cane in there, because that has more flavor (flavor whuuut) in it. Add your salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. After the soaking's done, just drain off the water and put the ampalaya, tomatoes, and onions on your prepared vinegar mix! Mix ang put in the fridge and let it sink for a few hours and you're good!

So it's basically kinilaw na ampalaya, minus the ginger. I like mine drowning in vinegar but you can prepare yours just half soaked (like what I did here!), and just mix it every few hours. I like eating mine cold, because it's unbelievably hot right now and the crunch and freshness and cooling effect of this one's a real treat when eaten straight from the fridge. So healthy! Not a bit of oil or processing or whatever. All fresh! Totally torn between Kinilaw na Ampalaya and Ampalaya Salad when thinking of how to classify this one, so I settled with Ampalaya Magic. I know. I suck at naming. :(

Go and try! It's sooooo good!! :)


Claire said...

Uncooked ampalaya? NO WAAAAAY! I've tasted raw ampalaya before and though I'd rather not explain how it happened lol, na-trauma ako sa pait haha. (Although I do like ampalaya when cooked, esp when sauteed in tomatoes!) Maybe next time when I get enough courage, then I will try this magic ampalaya haha. >_<

ghoent said...

Lol i could just imagine eating raw ampalaya whaaaaa traumatizing nga for sure!!

But i swear by this claire!!! I'm eating it right now and i'm about to finish this one whole ampalaya in one sitting! Just don't forget to soak it in the saline solution first! And make the vinegar solution at least at halfway level of your ampalaya so it would really get the flavor! :D

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