Time needed: 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Makes: 4 – 6 servings

3 pieces ampalaya
1 tablespoon salt
Hot water, as needed
Cornstarch, for dredging

½ kilo ground pork
10 pieces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 pieces small red onion, minced
1½ tablespoons ginger, grated
1 piece spring onion stalk, minced
1 piece medium carrot, minced
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1½ tablespoon sesame oil
1 piece egg
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water


  1. Prepare ampalaya

    Cut ampalaya into very thick rings and remove the seeds, hollowing out the center.

  2. Soak ampalaya

    In a bowl, dissolve salt in the hot water and to sans soak ampalaya rings in it for about 20 minutes, washing them in the salted water to lessen the bitterness. Rinse well in running water a few times to wash off the salt. Pat dry.

  3. Make filling

     In a food processor, add all the filling ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Pulse everything until sticky paste forms.

  4. Stuff ampalaya

    Take the filling and stuff the ampalaya rings, making sure to pack the filling tightly. Dredge the stuffed ampalaya rings lightly in cornstarch. Repeat for remaining filling and ampalaya rings.

  5. Fry

    In a pan over medium-high heat, lightly pan fry the stuffed ampalaya rings in the oil for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan.

  6. Make sauce

     In the same pan, saute the garlic and onion until the onions soften. Add chicken broth, oyster sauce, and brown sugar. Mix until sugar dissolves.

  7. Braise ampalaya and thicken sauce

    Add stuffed ampalaya back into the pan and simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, turning the stuffed ampalaya often. Mix in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken the sauce.

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