Ampalaya or Bitter Gourd (sometimes called bitter melon) is a vegetable full of nutrients that are good for the body. There are a lot of us who do not want to eat ampalaya because of the bitter. However, some still try their best to develop an acquired taste because of its known health benefits.
Ampalaya con Carne is a dish composed of beef strips and ampalaya – this is also known as beef with ampalaya. This is perfect for those who wish to eat ampalaya but cannot handle the bitterness. The beef acts as a neutralizing agent; it covers the bitterness with its flavorful juices.
I was one of those who dislike the bitterness of ampalaya. I only enjoyed eating it when I learned the proper technique of extracting the bitterness out (which I demonstrated in the Ginisang Ampalaya video). There is a negative side to it though; that means less nutrients since some of them are extracted too, but it is a good start to enjoy the vegetable.
Filipino Vegetable Recipes
Ampalaya con carne is a superb dish. If you do the right thing, the bitter flavor of the ampalaya will be unnoticed – all you can taste are the array of flavors brought about by the different ingredients. If you like beef with broccoli recipe, you’ll surely like this dish too.
Do you like eating ampalaya? What other techniques do you do to remove its bitter taste?
- ½ lb beef sirloin, sliced into thin strips
- 1 large bitter gourd (ampalaya); cleaned and sliced
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 small thumb ginger, julienned
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup water or more if necessary
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil
- Combine beef, soy sauce, salt, ground black pepper, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Mix all the ingredients until evenly distributed and marinade for at least 1 hour.
- Heat a frying pan or wok and pour-in 3 tablespoons of cooking oil.
- When the oil is hot enough, pan fry the marinated beef in medium heat until the outer part turns medium to dark brown (about 3 to 5 minutes per side).
- Add water and simmer until the beef is tender.
- Heat a separate pan or cooking pot then pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.
- When the oil is hot enough, sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger.
- Add the sliced bitter gourd and stir fry for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and transfer to the pan with the tender beef. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Transfer to a serving plate then serve.
- Share and enjoy!