(Beef with bitter gourd or amplaya)
1 kilo lean beef, thinly sliced into strips
2 large size, ampalaya, split in halve de-seaded, sliced crosswise
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 head garlic, minced
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2-1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper
Cooking Tips: to remove too much bitterness of ampalaya. After slicing, rub it with salt and soak it in cold water. Set aside for a while. Wash it with running water until no traces of saltyness. Squeeze it a little and drain water.
In a medium bowl, marinate beef in soy sauce, cornstarch and a pinch of salt and pepper for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a pan, heat cooking oil and stir fry beef until color change to brown and start to sizzle and set aside. Use a large pan and do not overcrowd beef, you may cook it in batches. Set aside.
In the same pan, saute garlic and onion until onion becomes transparent in color. Add in slices of ampalaya and stir cook for 1 to 2 minutes then add in about 1/3 cup of water, oyster sauce, sugar and beef. Stir it, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Thicken sauce with cornstarch diluted in 1/4 cup of water, continue to cook for about 30 seconds more or until sauce thickens. Adjust your seasoning if needed. Serve hot.