Beef with Bitter Gourd (Ampalaya or Bitter Melon)

Beef with Ampalaya

This was originally what we were supposed to have for dinner but since my daughter wouldn’t eat this vegetable, I had to cook Bistek as well!  Ironically though, she was able to cook this with my supervision (she’s 10 and I am trying to teach her how to cook) and enjoyed doing so.  But nope, she wouldn’t eat it.


about 500 grams beef, thinly slice into strips (yes, strips this time)

2 pieces ampalaya, both split in half and de-seeded and sliced

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup oyster sauce

1 teaspoon cornstarch for the marinade

1/8 cup cornstarch dissolved in about the same amount of water

1 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper (optional, yes optional if you think it doesn’t need more seasoning)

cooking oil


Marinate the beef in soy sauce and about a teaspoon of cornstarch.  Mix well for even distribution and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

In a deep pan or wok, heat oil and stir fry beef in 2 – 3 batches until brown and set aside.

In the same pan, add oil if necessary to be able to saute garlic and onion.  Add the ampalaya and stir fry for about 2 minutes.  Add water, oyster sauce, sugar, and lastly the cooked beef.  Stir fry for another 2 minutes and thicken the sauce with your cornstarch mixture.  Continue cooking for about 30 seconds while gently stirring until the sauce thickens.  Season if desired.  Serve hot over what else — rice.

Enjoy.  My husband and I did.


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