Beef Ampalaya

Ampalaya (bitter gourd, bitter melon) is not such a popular vegetable to use in dishes because of its bitterness. Here's a recipe that uses it and still tastes yummy -- BEEF AMPALAYA.

Serves  1
Prep Time   40 minutes (including beef marinating)

Cooking Time   15 minutes


  • 120 g beef sirloin, cut into strips 
  • 1 cup ampalaya, cut into strips
  • 3 pc minced garlic cloves
  • 1 pc chopped onion 
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp calamansi juice 
  • salt 
  • pepper  

Cooking Procedure:
  1. Marinate beef strips in a combination of soy sauce and calamansi juice. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil.
  3. Add in beef strips and sauté for 10 minutes. (Add enough water if the mixture gets too dry.) 
  4. Add ampalaya. 
  5. Simmer until ampalaya is tender. (Ampalaya is cooked when the inner opaque white strip turns translucent.)  
  6. Season with salt and pepper. 

How to make the ampalaya (bitter gourd, bitter melon) less bitter?

Salt draws liquid from vegetables, hence can help draw the bitter liquid from the ampalaya. You may use Kosher, canning, coarse, or any sea salt. Do not use iodized salt.

  1. Slice the ampalaya into strips (or how you need it cut). Generously salt the sliced ampalaya and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. A lot of liquid will accumulate at the bottom of the container, this is good. :-) Squeeze or press the ampalaya gently to wring out excess liquid before rinsing.
  3. Rinse twice with water to remove the salt and wring out excess liquid. 
Note that this does not eliminate bitterness, a tolerable amount of it remains. :-)

I am not a fan of ampalaya, but with this recipe I can now say BRRRING IT! :-)


Recipe from Belle Today.
Ampalaya tips from our househelper. Bongga!


  1. Usually, what I did to get rid of the bitterness,I soaked the sliced Ampalaya to cold water with salt for at least 10 to 15 mins prior to cooking. I don't squeeze it kasi there's a tendency na far it works for me that even my son is able to eat it. :)

  2. I love this dish! Makes me wanna change our menu for tonight's dinner:) Plus can't push aside the health benefits ampalaya has. Just that I still can't make my diabetic daughter eat a lot of it! BTW, followed you here and at FB! See you around:) - www.gastronomybyjoy,com


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