Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ampalaya con Carne Recipe

"Ampalaya is a vegetable grown throughout the Philippines. It is mostly cultivated, although wild forms can be found. It grows wild in the remote areas of Mt. Banahaw. As the English name suggests (bitter melon), the melon has a bitter taste due to the presence of momordicin." (Read more, here.)

One dish we love to make with ampalaya is ampalaya con carne. This has been a common appearance on our dining table ever since my sister decided to eat healthier. I know a good lot of people who would wrinkle their nose at thought of eating ampalaya. But it is not all that bad, really.

It is no secret that this gourd is wickedly bitter and cooked incorrectly, it can be virtually uneatable. But its nutritional value far more outweighs this bitterness and it's enough to make you do a double-take. Besides, cooked correctly, ampalaya can taste pretty good. One thing you can do to temper the bitterness is to cut up the ampalaya thinly and let it cook through. Under-cooking ampalaya is a big no no. And can you just imagine eating big chunks of ampalaya? Brrrrrr.

Ampalaya con Carne


1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 kilo beef, cut into strips
1 ampalaya sliced thinly
1 small can tausi (black beans), drained
1/2 cup water
1 tomato, diced (optional)
1 tokwa, cubed and fried until golden brown (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste


Saute garlic in oil. Add beef and cook until brown. Stir in ampalaya, tomato, and tausi. Pour in water. Season with salt and pepper, adjust according to taste. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the water is reduced to half. Stir in fried tokwa.


Gita Asuncion said...

thanks for sharing this recipe... simple and easy to follow.

Kristine said...

You're welcome! :)

Gita Asuncion said...

wish me luck, kristine... ill be trying out your AconC recipe tonite... i hope i do good. ill let you know how it goes. ;-)

Kristine said...

Much luck, Doc Gita! Especially on the salt and pepper part. I usually just eyeball my seasonings so I can never put their measurements down pat for those recipes. Looking forward to your inputs. :-)

Gita Asuncion said...

kristine! im so glad my hubby liked the recipe! so different daw from my usual gisado with suahe and fishsauace for panimpla...
thanks for sharing this talaga. ooops, i added onions pala sa recipe. just that and followed the rest of the steps.
now i have a new item entered into my list of weekly dishes. ;-)

Kristine said...

That's great to know! Glad to be of help. :) The onion seems like a really nice touch. I can just imagine the aroma and the sweetness it adds to the dish. I will definitely, try that. Thanks to you, too, for this input!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe. I finally found salted beans here in New Zealand from a Chinese store and AconC recipe is a good dish to try.

Kristine said...

Great! Let us know how it goes. : )

Charisse said...

Ampalaya? When we were kids, my brothers and I used to call it ampala-yuck. ;) But I haven't had it in years, so maybe it's a taste than an adult would enjoy more than a child.

Kristine said...

Hi Charisse! Ampalaya certainly is an acquired taste. When I was a kid, I would never touch the stuff either. :P

Anonymous said...

Hi, I used to hate ampalaya but now it's one of the regular dishes that I make. Great recipe! The only difference is that I stir in a teaspoon of flour or cornstarch to make the sauce thicker, a bit of worcestershire sauce, and a drop or two of sesame oil. Kain tayo! =)

-- rach

Kristine said...

Great tip. Will try that, too. Thanks!

cris said...

Thanks for this simple, yet delicious, recipe. I do it that way, too. But then, aside from the onions and the fried tokwa, you can add oyster sauce, like 1 tsp. instead of the worcestershire, for variation..does the trick for me. You can try it sometime, you'll love it.. :-)

Kristine said...

never tried it with oyster sauce before... will definitely try this. Thanks!

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