Atcharang ampalaya or pickled bitter gourd is a refreshing side to compliment any fried dish. Made of julienned radish, carrots, bell pepper, and bitter gourd. A healthy side dish salad that is bursting with refreshing flavors.
I will be totally honest with you. This is not my recipe but it is my sister-in-law’s. It was very nice of her to share it so I can share it with you guys. We were together last December in the Philippines and she’d tell us that this pickled salad is popular with her co-workers. So, I was intrigued and asked her if I could share the recipe in my blog. The first time I made it really made an impression! I mean, WOW it’s totally delish! I hope you’ll like it too.
How to make Atchara or Pickling
Pickling originated in India and the traditional atchara in the Philippines is made from unripe Papaya. To pickle produce, you’ll need a pickling solution such as vinegar, sugar, and salt. You then placed the mixture in an airtight container and kept unrefrigerated. Once you open it though, better keep it chilled to maintain its flavor.
Tips for Atcharang Ampalaya
- Soak the ampalaya or bitter gourd in 500 ml of water mixed with rock salt for 5 minutes to release its bitter flavor while absorbing the salinity of the salt.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
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- 1 large amplaya (bitter gourd)
- 1 small radish (julienned)
- 1 medium carrot (julienned)
- ½ slice of red bell pepper (julienned)
- ½ slice of green pepper (julienned)
- ½ cup juice of pineapple
- 1 cup pineapple bits
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
For pickling solution
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp kosher salt (rock salt or iodized salt)
- 4 cloves garlic (slice into strips)
- 1 knob ginger (julienned)
For soaking ampalaya/bitter gourd
- 500 ml water
- 2 tbsp salt
Preparing the pickling solution
- In a pot pour vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, and ginger then cook in medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved then set aside.
- Prepare a large bowl with water and salt
- Cut the bitter gourd into thin slices then soak it in water with salt. Let sit for a few minutes to release the bitter taste of the gourd.
- Julienne radish, carrots, bell peppers, and slice pineapple bits to a smaller size.
- Drain ampalaya/bitter gourd from the water and salt mixture and rinse in running water. Remove excess water and add the other vegetables.
- Pour pineapple juice and the pickling solution and add the ground pepper. Gently mix to combine the vegetables and coated with pickling solution.
- Transfer in clean, sterilized jars or containers with lids. Cover tightly and place in room temperature.
- Let sit for at least 24 hours before consuming. Bon appetit!