ampalaya con carne

August 5, 2008

mike enriquez say ampalaya is good for diabetes though bfad maintains no approved therapeutic claim. some say that ampalaya can help prevent and treat malaria. or ampalaya can stimulate digestion. some even say that ampalaya can help treat hiv infected patients.

whatever medicinal properties people attribute to this vegetable, ampalaya (or amargoso as it is called in our place) is simply a yummy treat regardless of its healing property. whether you stir-fry it with beef or saute it with onion, garlic and tomatoes and adding an egg along the way (the way you do it with burong mustasa), add it to your ginisang sardinas, add it in your paksiw na bangus (or bisugo) or by using it in the ilokano favorite – pinakbet, ampalaya always gives the dish an added twist or an enhanced flavor.

it is an acquired taste, though. this is largely due to its bitterness. but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find ampalaya to be a sweetie.


250 grams beef sirloin
1 medium size ampalaya
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 onion sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoon tausi (fermented black beans)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon patis (fish sauce)
1 beef cube
cornstarch mixture (1 part cornstarch, 1 part water)

ampalaya con carne is an easy dish to prepare. this is my version of it (some add ginger and some still sesame oil). you can start by carving your beef sirloin into small bite size pieces and seasoning it with salt and pepper. set it aside for 30 mins. heat wok and approximately 3 tablespoons of cooking oil. brown meat on slow fire. this time, cut the ampalaya into 2 1/2 inches. and then slice these 2 1/2 inches ampalaya into halves after which cut it into strips. make sure to peel the pith off (the white flesh) together with seeds.

now, add the garlic to the browning meat together with the onions. stir. cover meat with water and set heat on highest setting to boil. once boiling, set flame to low and simmer meat. add the tablespoon of oyster sauce, the fermented black beans or tausi and 1/2 teaspoon of patis. wait until the water is absorbed or has evaporated and all that is left is the oil. briefly saute beef in oil and cover meat again with water. set the flame to high once more to boil. set to low once boiling and simmer. add one beef cube. adjust taste with salt if need be.

at this point, prepare your cornstarch mixture. also, steam your ampalaya.

once water is reduced into a fourth of its original measure, stir in the cornstarch mixture until proper consistency is achieved. mix in the steamed ampalaya. turn off heat and place in a small casserole dish.


> if you lack the time to steam the ampalaya, just mix in the ampalaya just before you stir in the cornstarch. do not overcook the ampalaya.

>> make sure that you soak the fermented black beans in water before putting it in.

>>> you can also use mechado cut or beef cubes cut into strips in lieu of sirloin.

>>>> you can also use pork lomo instead of beef. since lomo is pork tenderloin, cooking time will be shortened into half. slice the lomo into strips. brown the meat. add in the garlic and the onions. saute for 3 minutes or so. add 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce once onions are limp. saute for another couple of minutes then add the fermented black beans and cover adequately with water. add the patis and let it simmer for about ten minutes before adding the ampalaya. once ampalaya is cooked but still firm, add in the cornstarch solution and stir. turn off the heat.