Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw

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Here’s a very simple but delectable vegetable dish that offers the bright colors of autumn – orange, yellow and red (if you add red hot chili pepper) plus green. I just love its unique taste and texture and the healthy combination of vegies – with or without chili. Ginataang kalabasa at sitaw (squash and long beans cooked in coconut milk). I used pumpkin or winter squash.

1/4 kilo of pork with fat, cut into small bite pieces
4-5 tbsp of minced garlic

1 onion, minced
a slice of ginger, crushed (optional)
a bowl of diced pumpkin (or squash)
a bowl of long beans, cut about 2 1/2 in long

a can of coconut milk (or fresh coconut milk if available)
Patis (fish sauce)
Chili pepper (optional)

Over low heat, cook the pork in its own juice with little salt until it renders fat and the meat is brownish. Push the cooked meat to one side and fry the garlic and ginger using pork fat until aromatic. Throw in the onion, mix with garlic and pork, add patis and pepper, and cook until the onion is translucent. Add in the pumpkin and saute for about 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer until the pumpkin is almost cooked, adding water when necessary. Adjust the seasoning. Throw in the long beans (and chili peppers if desired) and cook until al dente, and the sauce is thick.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

9 thoughts on “Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw

  1. Hi! I truly enjoy your blog. I’m a Filipina living in Southern California who desperately searches for yummy recipes. How does one get a password to view some of your password protected stories/recipes?

    1. Oh hi Mimi! Thanks for visiting my website and really glad you like it. I am sorry for the inconvenience. 2 of my posts are still on draft mode and currently password protected as I am still making some amendments. Pls do visit a little later… tonite (beijing/manila time). Aayusin ko lang :) Balik ka Mimi…. Salamat!

  2. Nice presentation, mouth watering!

    Do you have a recipe for an authentic kare-kare recipe, I’m tired of adding mama sita kare-kare mix to my cooking. Thank you and more power!


  3. The website is very comprehensive. I will be a regular visitor. With it I will not have a need for a cookbook, recipe cards or any other notes. You’re a life saver:) Thanks and more power to you.

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