Ampalaya Con Carne ala Christina

Romel and I, we LOVE Ampalaya.

The kids on the other hand, except for Sarah who is very much like me, they have this uh uh relationship with the green wrinkly vegetable. They’re not really crazy with it, but they appreciate it and eat it for the right reasons.
Ampalaya Con Carne.

As always, my appreciation to my ever loving and handsome father named Alex, he 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 up to maximize its taste and vitamins, and how to season them properly.

My parents taught us these: 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 it!


  • 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, sauté the garlic and the onion
  • Add the beef strips
  • Cover and stir occasionally
  • When lightly brown, add 1 cup of water and let simmer until the meat is tender
  • Add the black beans and season with pepper and MSG (optional) to taste
  • Cover and simmer some more.
  • When the meat is already tender, add the red and green bell pepper and the ampalaya.
  • 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 =)

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