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Ampalaya Con Karne( Bittermelon)

Ampalaya…….(Bittermelon). Back home in the Philippines, this is one of our favorite dish to order in a famous hongkong/chinese restaurant near in our place. “Lok Foo” Chinese Restaurant in Commonwealth. (please correct me if I misspelled since its been a while I was not in PHI). Here in NZ, we seldom cook this dish as it is not “in season” and would be very expensive dish atleast around 25 dollar a kilo when it is not in summer time. Ok, back to the dish, it is more of an Asian taste – sweet and salty coming from black beans and a slight bitter coming from the ampalaya…..Must try!

Ingredients: serves 4-6 persons

  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 thumb size ginger sliced thinly
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 500 grams thinly sliced beef (tendered and soak in 1 tsp soda. salt & pepper for 10 minutes)
  • 500 grams ampalaya slices
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1.5 cup water
  • 1 small can of black beans (use 3 tbsp and mashed it)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion leeks


  • Heat oil in pan , add beef and stir fry until brown and season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, ginger and onions and soy sauce. Saute’ for 2 minutes.
  • Add black beans. Continue stirring for 2-3 minutes then pour in ampalaya.
  • Add water with cornstarch and boil for 2 minutes, then add onion leeks and sesame oil then remove from heat.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!!!!!

Munggo with Ampalaya (beans with bitter melon)

This is a version of my wife, I already posted my version. Not much different actually, We just want to let you know some varieties to cook munggo beans. On my version, I cook this with a noodle, Monggo beans with sotanghon. My wife version is cooked with bittermelon. I will tell you a little story about this dish. I have a friend back home who was in jail for a couple of months because of drink driving. He said that almost every other day inside the prison camp they eat this meal as their lunch. He said, just the munggo beans no special meat inside. Meaning it’s just the munggo beans sauted in garlic and onions and lots of water as their soup and viand.  Back to my friends, he was out of prison now! A friendly reminder to all drivers out there. Never drive when your drunk! ……………………….Did you know that bittermelon Pulp or flesh is crisp and watery similar to that of cucumber. If you want to make bitter gourd taste better or less bitter, then you have to add salt and then wash it before consumption. Bitter melon juice can be a good alternative for weight loss because it is a natural diuretic and helps in improving blood circulation.

Ingredients: (serves 4-6 person)

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 medium red onion (chopped)
  • 1 klio meaty pork bones (cut in serving portions)
  • 3tbsp bagoong isda (philippines style anchovies)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup munggo beans (soaked in water for atleast 3 hours)
  • 1 bittermelon sliced
  • 1 litre water


  • in a sauce pan, boil monggo beans for about 20-30 minutes or until tender or beans has broken
  • In another sauce pan, saute garlic and onion, pour over pork bones and stir fry for about 3-5 minutes then seasoned with salt & pepper
  • pour over boiled monggo. let it boil, add in bittermelon and simmer of 2 minutes
  • Enjoy!!!
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