Shrimps, Pumpkin and Long Beans in Coconut Milk

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Though I still maintain a balanced diet for me and my family, I think being-slender-is-in-my-genes-I-can-eat-what-I-want is no longer the right attitude. Carbs and fats are slowly yet surely getting into my system (and metabolism) nowadays. Ahaha yeah… I had my wake-up call. The website of a magazine for expats in Beijing has our photo in their gallery and… my goodness! They should have told me they’ll take my picture so I was able to hold my breath for a while and say ‘cheese’. I definitely put on some weight… or is it just the angle? On a lighter note, that particular photo captured A and I in one of our moments in our sweetest smiles.

Oh well… and so I decided to cut on my rice intake and eat more veggies instead. Without the usual 4-hour brisk walking for the next 2 months, I hope this works. Haha enough sulking.

I still have a cup of coconut milk left from the Thai Green Curry I cooked the other day and instantly I thought about setting it aside for a veggie dish. I bought the usual shrimps and decided to use a bowlful for guinataang gulay (vegetable in coconut milk). Yummy! Our lunch last Saturday!

1/4 kilo pork with fat, cut into small bite pieces
4-5 tbsp of minced garlic
1 onion, diced
A piece of ginger, julienned
A bowl of diced pumpkin
A bowl of long beans, cut about 3 inches long
1 cup of coconut milk (or fresh coconut milk if available)
Patis (fish sauce)
Salt and pepper
Green chili pepper (or siling labuyo is desired)

Cut the shrimps’ antennae. Cut along the shrimp back from head to tail and devein. Rinse and pat dry. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the shrimps and marinate while preparing the other ingredients.

Over low heat, sear pork until it renders fat and natural juice. Cook until a bit brownish then push the cooked meat to one side. Fry the garlic and ginger using pork fat until aromatic. Throw in the onion, add patis and pepper, and stir-fry until the onion is translucent. Add half of the coconut milk and cook until natural oil appears. Add in the shrimps and stir-fry until nicely coated. Cook for approximately 3 minutes. Scoop them out and set aside.

Add in the pumpkin and saute for about 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining coconut milk and simmer for another minute. Throw in the long beans and chili pepper and cook until the pumpkin is tender, the sauce thick and the beans al dente, adding water when necessary. Adjust the seasoning. Mix the cooked shrimps to reheat for a minute. Serve with plain rice.

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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 “Shrimps, Pumpkin and Long Beans in Coconut Milk

  1. Hi Anne! The same thing with me… basta hipon at gata hindi uurungan.
    Hello Tanya! Hope your hubby will enjoy a dish like this. :-)
    Mang Mike, kita mo nga naman o, we had the same dish for lunch!
    MrsPartyGirl, yeah it must be the difference. But I’ve tried pinakbet with gata a long long time ago back in Manila. Pag hindi yata kumpleto lahat ng gulay at walang bagoong then it’s not pinakbet…

  2. hi iska! was just wondering why the “gata” turned out to be orange? looks like it has tomatoes. or is it because of the pumpkin? :-)

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