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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!!!!!
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