Beef with Bitter Gourd (Ampalaya or Bitter Melon)
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)
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.