Ampalaya atchara also known as pickled bitter melon or gourd is a condiment that is paired with seafood or meat. I can eat this condiment by itself. When my mom was catering she made delicious green papaya atchara. In fact, a good friend suggested that she export her atchara.
One of these days, I will try to make her green papaya atchara recipe. I’ve seen my moms’ helpers prepare the papaya and it’s too much work. We will see if I’m up to the challenge. Grating is my weakness. I’m not sure if I can put it in the food processor or use a mandolin.
Well anyway, this Ampalaya atchara recipe is way easier to make. Yeah there’s a lot of chopping involved but at least I’m not grating and squeezing. In fact, putting it together is fun. Seeing all the colorful vegetables come together is so refreshing to look at.
Try this Ampalaya Atchara Recipe
Once you have sliced and blanched the vegetables make sure to air dry it for at least 6 hours. Also, sterilize the bottles with boiling water the night before. It has all night to dry up. You can also make the syrup the night before. Placing all the veggies in the bottle is easy. Just make sure to evenly distribute the vegetables so it is colorful. Also, it is important to pack it tightly so vegetables doesn’t move and float to the top. Once you add the syrup, seal and place it in the fridge. In a week, you can have this crunchy pickled ampalaya atchara. I just got an idea for lunch tomorrow – tinapa (smoked fish) and atchara.
If you watch my video I have the vegetables in a colander when I poured hot water then cold water. I did that twice. Just make sure before you do it the second time mix the veggies so the bottom vegetables get on top. If you prepare to blanch by dipping the vegetables in hot water for a minute and shock it with cold water is another option. Just make sure you don’t overcook or you’ll end up with soggy veggies.
Before making atchara watch my video to see how I do it.
How to Make Ampalaya Atchara
- 2 ampalaya bitter gourd melon, sliced diagonally
- 1 head garlic peeled
- 2 small red onions quartered
- 2 thumbs ginger sliced into flower
- 1 small carrot sliced into flower
- 1 green bell pepper sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 2 banana peppers
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups vinegar
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 tsp salt
Slice all vegetables except for garlic. Place all the veggies in a colander.
Boil 6 cups of water. In another container, add ice and pour 6 cups of cold water.
Blanch the vegetables twice. Pour hot water then cold water. Do the same procedure twice.
Before blanching the second time mix the vegetables so the bottom veggies can be on top of colander.
Air dry vegetables for a few hours. Prepare syrup.
Once vegetables are dry.
Divide vegetables to fit two 32 oz bottles.
Distribute and arrange vegetables evenly and tightly.
Pour syrup until it covers the vegetables.
Seal top of bottle with saran wrap then put the lid.
Refrigerate. Atchara will ready in a week.
In a pot, combine vinegar, sugar and salt.
Once sugar is dissolved turn off heat. Set aside to completely cool down. Note: You can also prepare this the night before.
Boil water and pour over cleaned bottles. It is best to do this the night before so it can dry up.
1. When making the syrup taste to see if you need more sugar. The vinegar I’m using will be different from yours so acidity will vary. 2. If you prepare to blanche the vegetables by dipping it in boiling water for a minute and shocking it in cold water you may do so. I find the other way just a lot easier. 3. Make sure syrup has cooled down before pouring in vegetables. You will end up with soggy veggies. 4. If vegetables are not packed tightly it will float to the top.