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+ servings

Ampalaya Con Carne

Bitter gourd cooked with beef and oyster sauce.
3 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Sweating time 20 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4
Calories 450 kcal


  • 1 large Ampalaya bitter gourd / bitter melon vegetable 
  • 1 teaspoon salt for sweating the vegetable  
  • 1/2 pound pork tenderloin sliced thinly 
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce for marinade 
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce 
  • 3 teaspoon oil divided 
  • 1- inch chunk ginger peeled and grated 
  • 3 cloves garlic minced 
  • 2 small shallot sliced 
  • 1 cup water divided 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar 
  • Pinch of white pepper 

Cornstarch slurry mixture

  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water


  • Bell pepper for garnish


  • Marinate the meat. Slice the pork tenderloin diagonally across the grain in 1/4 slices. In a bowl, combine the meat and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Mix well until meat is coated. Add in 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, soy sauce and oil, then stir until incorporated. Cover and marinate for about 15 minutes. 
  • Sweat the ampalaya (bitter melon or bitter gourd). Using a knife, split the vegetable into half, then scoop and scrape the core with a spoon. Slice to 1/4 inch thickness. To reduce bitterness, sprinkle with salt then toss to distribute salt. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse in cold water.  
  • Heat oil in a large skillet on high heat. Toss the marinated pork, stirring occasionally, so it develops a sear on sides. Cook the meat to medium well doneness, about 4 minutes. Add onion, garlic, ginger and cook for about 1 minute. Pour 1/4 cup of water and let come to boil for 1 minute. Scrape off any bits from the pan as it adds flavor to the dish. 
  • Add the ampalaya and lightly stir just enough to distribute evenly in the pan. Let simmer for about 5 minutes without stirring. Add the remaining water, oyster sauce, sugar and cornstarch slurry. Cook until the vegetable is done to tender-crisp and the sauce has thickened and turned into a glaze.


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