Beef ampalaya is not a traditional Filipino recipe but it was well accepted as one of the favorite Filipino dishes. It has some oriental blend with the addition of oyster sauce and black beans which are widely used in Chinese and other Asian cuisines. Cooking is simple, all you need is to saute the ingredients and simmer for a few minutes then you have a tasty beef ampalaya dish.
A Delectable Fusion of Flavors
If you’re on the lookout for a delightful and unique Filipino dish to add to your culinary repertoire, Beef Ampalaya might be just the thing you’re searching for. This mouthwatering dish combines the distinctive bitterness of ampalaya (bitter gourd) with succulent beef, creating a delectable fusion of flavors that will leave your taste buds craving for more. In this recipe blog post, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of preparing and cooking Beef Ampalaya, and before you know it, you’ll be savoring this delightful dish with family and friends. Let’s get started!
Preparing the Ampalaya: Taming the Bitterness
The first step in making Beef Ampalaya is to prepare the ampalaya properly. Ampalaya, also known as bitter gourd, lives up to its name with its naturally bitter taste. However, with a simple technique, you can tone down the bitterness and turn it into a delicious addition to your dish.
To begin, slice the ampalaya into thin rounds and remove the seeds. Next, place the sliced ampalaya in a bowl and sprinkle a few teaspoons of rock salt over them. Give it a gentle toss to ensure the salt coats the ampalaya evenly. Let it sit in the saltwater mixture for a few hours. This process helps reduce the bitterness, making the vegetable more palatable without completely losing its unique taste. Using baking soda is also as good method.
The Beef Marinade: Infusing Flavor
While the ampalaya is soaking, it’s the perfect time to marinate the beef. This simple step is crucial in infusing the meat with flavor and tenderness. Take beef strips and marinate them in a mixture of soy sauce and pepper for at least 15 minutes. This allows the beef to absorb the savory flavors, enhancing the taste of your Beef Ampalaya.
Stir Fry the Beef: Achieving the Perfect Seared Texture
Once the beef has absorbed the marinade, it’s time to cook it. In a small wok or large skillet, heat some oil and stir-fry the marinated beef strips until they turn brown and sizzle with savory goodness. The high heat will give the beef a delectable seared texture that will complement the softness of the ampalaya in the final dish. Set the cooked beef aside for now.
Sauteing the Ampalaya: Aromatic Goodness
In the same wok or skillet, add some more oil, and sauté minced garlic and sliced onions until they release their aromatic goodness. Once the kitchen starts to fill with the delightful aroma, it’s time to add the soaked and drained ampalaya to the mixture. The sautéing process helps soften the ampalaya and infuse it with the flavors of garlic and onion.
Introducing the Oriental Touch: Oyster Sauce and Black Beans
One of the things that sets Beef Ampalaya apart from traditional Filipino dishes is the addition of oyster sauce and black beans. These ingredients lend an oriental flair to the dish, giving it an exciting twist that your taste buds will thank you for. Add the oyster sauce, black beans, and a quarter cup of water to the sautéed ampalaya. Allow the mixture to simmer for at least 3 minutes to let the flavors meld together harmoniously.
Bringing It All Together: The Final Steps
Now it’s time to unite the beef and ampalaya. Add the cooked beef to the wok and sprinkle in some magic sarap for that extra burst of flavor. Don’t forget to include a hint of sweetness by adding sugar to balance the dish’s overall taste. Give it a gentle mix and let it simmer for a few more seconds to allow the flavors to intermingle.
Serve and Savor: A Culinary Delight
Congratulations, your Beef Ampalaya is ready to be served! Turn off the heat, and with eager anticipation, dish out this delectable fusion of flavors onto serving plates. The combination of tender beef, slightly softened ampalaya, and the oriental touches of oyster sauce and black beans is sure to impress your guests and family.
Beef Ampalaya may not be a traditional Filipino recipe, but it has undoubtedly captured the hearts and taste buds of many. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can easily recreate this delightful dish in your own kitchen. The bitter gourd’s bitterness is tamed to perfection, and the beef is infused with flavors that will leave everyone craving for seconds. So, don your apron, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure with Beef Ampalaya – a dish that offers a perfect blend of Filipino and Oriental tastes. Enjoy!
How to Cook Beef Ampalaya (Beef with Bitter Gourd)
- 1/2 kilo beef tenderloin slice into strips
- 1 pc large bitter gourd or ampalaya
- 1 small size onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp salted black beans optional
- cooking oil for sauteing
How to cook beef ampalaya:
- Marinade the beef strips with soy sauce and pepper at least 15 minutes.
- In a small wok or large skillet heat oil and stir fry the beef strips until it turns brown and sizzles. Set aside.
- Heat oil again and saute garlic, onion and ampalaya.
- Then add the oyster sauce, black beans and 1/4 cup water and simmer for at least 3 minutes.
- Add the cooked beef and put a little magic sarap, about 1/2 tsp. then add the sugar.
- Season with salt and mix then simmer again for a few seconds.
- Turn off heat and serve hot.
Watch the Video on How to Cook Beef Ampalaya:
Cooking Tips for Beef Ampalaya Recipe
- Soaking Ampalaya: Ampalaya, also known as bitter gourd, can be quite bitter in its raw form. To tame its bitterness and make it more palatable, it's essential to soak the sliced ampalaya in water with a few teaspoons of rock salt for a few hours. This process helps draw out the bitterness, leaving you with a milder and more enjoyable flavor. Avoid squeezing the ampalaya with salt, as it may not be as effective. Alternatively, you can use baking soda instead of salt in the soaking water for a similar effect. Rinse the ampalaya thoroughly before cooking to remove any residual bitterness.
- Marinating the Beef: Marinating the beef strips is a crucial step in elevating the taste and texture of your Beef Ampalaya. Before cooking, marinate the beef in a mixture of soy sauce and pepper for at least 15 minutes. This allows the beef to absorb the savory flavors and tenderize, resulting in a more flavorful and succulent meat in the final dish. For even better results, you can marinate the beef for a longer period or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Stir-Frying Beef: When stir-frying the marinated beef, use a small wok or a large skillet and heat oil until it's hot. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this can lead to steaming the meat instead of achieving a desirable seared texture. Allow enough space between the beef strips for them to cook evenly. Stir-fry the beef until it turns brown and sizzles, giving it a delicious seared texture that complements the softness of the ampalaya. Once cooked, set the beef aside and add it back to the dish later, ensuring it retains its tenderness and flavor.