Beef Recipes · Lutong Bahay (Daily Menu)

Ampalaya Con Carne

Ampalaya Con Carne
Credits My Kitchen Offerings
This Ampalaya con Carne recipe is good for our health. Eating Ampalaya (bitter melon) is an acquired taste. Asians and Filipinos have a fondness for this beloved vegetable gourd that it is featured in a lot of Oriental dishes.
Although it has a strong pungent taste, the bitterness can be lessened either by blanching or parboiling. In this particular recipe, the addition of fermented black beans and the savory stir-fry beef play well with the bitter melon.


1 pound lean beef, preferably steak
3 pieces bitter melon (about 1 ½ pounds)
3 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, sliced
5-6 thin slices of ginger
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tausi or fermented black beans
½ teaspoon red chili flakes

2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4-5 drops of sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 tablespoons water


  1. Cut the beef into thin slices. Combine with the rice wine or dry sherry, soy sauce and cornstarch. Marinate for about 20 minutes.
  2. Soak fermented black beans in water. Rinse and drain, coarsely chop.
  3. Split the bitter melon in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pith with a small spoon. Slice diagonally into 1/4″ thick pieces. Parboil in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons oil in a large pan. Stir-fry the beef until brown on both sides but still pink in the middle. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Using the same pan, heat remaining oil. Saute onions for 1 minute. Add the garlic & ginger, cook for 2 minutes. Follow with the fermented black beans and the chili flakes and saute for another minute.
  6. Add the bitter melon and cook until crisp-tender. Stir in sauce ingredients: chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt and cornstarch (mixed with the 4 tablespoons water).
  7. Once the sauce thickens, return the beef to the pan and combine with the rest . Turn off heat.
  8. Enjoy!