[Samal Island, Davao Gulf, Philippines; N 07 12  / W 125 43]

An ampalaya looks a bit like a warty cucumber.  It is common in the markets of the Pacific but we never bought one because we did not know how to prepare it.  One day when riding in the back of the marina's truck enroute from the lovely public market in Babak on Samal Island, Philip noticed that Tes of the yacht Emma Peel had purchased one of these odd looking veggies.  Always eager to try new foods, Philip asked her about it.  Later Tes brought us a taste of this lovely crunchy delight that she had made with it.  It is the perfect accompaniment to BBQ,  and it keeps "forever" if refrigerated. 




apple cider vinegar


fresh ginger, chopped fine

fresh garlic, chopped fine

onion, chopped


carrot, sliced very thin

cucumber, chopped

bell pepper, chopped

salt to taste




Cut off ends of ampalaya.  Slice lengthwise, removed seeds and white pulp.  Slice flesh thinly.  Salt liberally and then squeeze out liquid and discard.  Rinse to remove residual salt.


Add ginger, garlic and onion to a pan.  Add apple cider vinegar to cover.  Add sugar to your taste.   Bring to boil.   Cook for a few minutes.


Turn off the flame.  Toss in remaining veggies, stir and cover to allow veggies to blanch.  Add salt to taste.   Chill and serve.


If preparing ahead or preserving, put hot salad in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid, allow to cool and then chill before serving.  Tes has not tried to store preserves at room temperature but believes it possible.