How to Cook Ampalaya Con Carne!

Bitter Gourd

Would you like to learn how to cook a delicious Amapalaya Dish? Here’s our family favorite – Ampalaya con Carne.

Believe it or not, most of the members of my family (even the kids) love Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd) when cooked this way.

My Version of Ampalaya Con Carne

Before I give you my recipe, let me thank first my ever loving and handsome father Alex who taught me how to cook. I remember fondly when I was still in grade school and then in high school how he would call me and my sisters and make us watch him as he prepared our food. He’d tell us which ingredient goes to the pan first, how to cut the vegetables to maximize its taste and vitamins, and how to season them properly.

My parents taught us to eat all kinds of vegetables, to enjoy eating them, to cook them in different ways possible, and most importantly, to teach the same to our children.


So here goes the ingredients and the procedure on how to cook Ampalaya Con Carne!


  • Ampalaya *
  • Beef, cut into thin strips
  • Black Beans (canned)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Corn starch
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bulb onion
  • vegetable oil/cooking oil


  • Wash the Ampalaya and cut into  desired sizes
  • Thinly slice the beef and cut further into strips
  • Crush the garlic and cut the onion into tiny cubes
  • In a pan, saute the garlic and the onion
  • Add the beef strips
  • Cover and stir occasionally
  • When lightly brown, add a cup of water and let simmer until the meat is tender
  • Add the black beans and season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Cover and simmer some more
  • Add the red and green bell pepper and ampalaya and cover for a few minutes, making sure not to overcook it
  • Do not stir
  • When the Ampalaya is almost done, pour the corn starch and water mixture to thicken the sauce
  • Stir and serve immediately
  • Best served with rice

My Tips on Ampalaya*!

  • To get the most vitamins from the Ampalaya, wash it prior to cutting into pieces. DO NOT WASH WITH SALT NOR SQUEEZE as this will remove the vitamins and defeats the purpose why we eat vegetables
  • Avoid stirring the vegetables. Just cover until almost done
  • Since not very many want the really bitter kind, when buying, “pilia ang dag-ko og grano (ha ha ha! naglisod ininglis he he he!)” because as per my experience, that is the less bitter variety =)

Image courtesy of antpkr /


One thought on “How to Cook Ampalaya Con Carne!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s