I should start by warning you that this salad is not your everyday salad. IT IS BITTER. You probably would have figured that one out seeing that the main ingredient is BITTERMELON. In my experience, no matter what technique you use to remove as much of the bitterness of this vegetable, there will always be a hint of bitterness left. Especially in this recipe where the bittermelon is not cooked but eaten raw. This recipe was originally served at The Westin Philippine Plaza hotel in Manila, concocted byVincent Yap.
- 2 cups seeded and sliced (julienned) bittermelon
- 5 shallots, sliced
- 3 tbs shrimp paste (bagoong)
- 4 plum tomatoes (or any kind of fresh tomaotes), sliced
- Sprinkle the bittermelon with salt and let stand in a strainer or colander for at least 30 minutes. (You can even do this overnight if you are overly terrified of the bitterness! ) Rinse off the salt.
- In a mixing bowl, combime bittermelon with the remaining ingredients. Let stand for 10 minutes so the flavors develops.
- Serve with any grilled dish.
Bittermelon can also be cooked/sauteed with pork, shrimp or eggs. That is actually the most common way of preparing this vegetable. Kusina ni Manang has an excellent recipe on how to do it– exactly how I remember my grandmother cooked it.