This Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw is so hearty, creamy, and flavorful. An everyday Filipino dish that is very simple to make yet so healthy! Enjoy it with your favorite fried meat or fish and steamed rice for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Filipinos incorporate coconut milk extensively due to its versatility. Its flavor is lively and fresh, suitably titillating the palate of the Filipino people. In the Philippines, food prepared with coconut milk is referred to as ginataan, which applies to both savory and sweet dishes.
Filipinos enjoy traditional sweet treats with gata or coconut milk like Ginataang Bilo bilo, Ginataang Mais and Ginataang Munggo. We equally love it on, savory dishes, such as Ginataang Alimasag, Ginataang Tilapia, and Ginataang Kalabasa with Sitaw.
What is Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw?
This healthy Filipino everyday viand is made mainly with squash (kalabasa) and yardlong beans (sitaw) cooked in savory coconut milk. Kalabasa has a mildly sweet, mellow, nutty taste. When cooked, it has a smooth and silky texture. Sitaw also has a mild flavor but adds a bit of a bite. Both are nutrient-rich.
Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw is really simple to make and takes less than 30 minutes to cook. Most of the work goes into preparing the vegetables you'll be using in cooking this delicious dish. If you are on a tight budget but want to enjoy delicious but healthy food, then this recipe is perfect for you.
Other Hearty and Healthy Vegetable Recipes
- Pork belly- is one of the most flavorful parts of pork and this tender cut is ideal for this kind of dish as it cooks faster. Feel free to use other kinds of protein like chicken or shrimp.
- Shrimp paste- gives a salty and savory flavor to the dish. You may substitute this with fish sauce.
- Squash- as there are many different varieties of squashes, choose one that you like if you cannot get hold of the Philippine local kalabasa. Ideal will be starchy and sticky when cooked which is somewhat sweet. Something like Japanese Kabocha or butternut squash can be used.
- Coconut cream - locally known in the Philippines as kakang gata, is the first extraction of coconut milk by squeezing the mature coconut meat. I used a canned alternative as it is more convenient.
- Sitaw - also known as yardlong beans, have a mildly sweet flavor with an earthy undertone that is slightly chewy and firm when cooked. This is normally used for this dish but you can use green beans if not available.
Tips in cooking Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw
- Aside from pork, you may also use chicken or seafood, such as crabs and shrimp. You may also skip meat for a vegetarian version.
- If shrimp paste is not your thing, you may skip it or use fish sauce instead. No, it will not be fishy at all. You can also just use sea salt.
- Choose yardlong beans that are slender and straight. When you see bulges created by the seeds, this means they are already mature and might be too tough when cooked.
- Depending on the squash's maturity, you can either keep the skin on or peel it. Yes, the skin can be eaten.
- Coconut cream should be simmered gently. It might curdle and separate if you bring it to a boil.
- You may add a pork bouillon cube to add a depth of flavor to the dish.
- To add a little kick or spice to the meal, add chopped red or green chili.
- You may also use malunggay (moringa) leaves, which can be added for flavor and nutrition.
How to Serve and Store
Enjoy Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw with steamed rice for a hearty lunch or dinner. You may also serve it with your favorite fried or grilled fish or meat.
Do not let it sit out for several hours if the weather is hot as it might spoil. Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for longer storage. Place it in a ziplock bag and remove the air and seal.
To reheat, thaw at room temperature and place in a pot or wok, and heat over low heat. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw Recipe
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ pound pork belly cut into thin strips
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons uncooked bagoong alamang/ shrimp paste
- 3 cups squash peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup water
- 1 can (400ml) coconut cream
- 2 cups yardlong beans cut into 2-inch lengths
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons oil, ½ pound pork bellyHeat oil in a pot or deep pan over medium heat. Add the pork strips and cook until browned and crispy.
- 1 medium yellow onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons uncooked bagoong alamang/ shrimp pasteAdd the onion and garlic until soft and aromatic. Add the shrimp paste and cook forseveral seconds..
- 3 cups squash, 1 cup waterAdd the squash and pour in water. Simmer for 5 minutes or until squash is tender.
- 1 can (400ml) coconut creamAdd the coconut cream and cook for another 5 minutes or until squash is soft and can be mashed.
- With the back of a wooden spoon, lightly mash some of the squash to thicken the sauce.
- 2 cups yardlong beans, Salt and pepperAdd the yardlong beans. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until the string beans are cooked.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as side to your favorite fried meat or simply with steamed rice.
Absolutely! It is a vegetable dish with added meat to enhance the flavor, but you're free to remove or replace them with alternatives to align it with your dietary requirements.
Nope. Coconut milk is a non-dairy type of milk.
Yes, you can use vegetable or meat stock for enhanced flavor.