Next to lechon this is one dish I often had big cravings for when I’m abroad or far away from home; stewed vegetable in coconut milk. Ginataang Kalabasa or squash in coconut milk is one versatile dish that we can cook anywhere else in the world provided that there is Asian grocery nearby. I remember with Filipino friends overseas we do weekend get-together and this dish never fail to bring us closer to home. Thank God powdered coconut milk exist already as this is a good replacement to fresh coconut milk. But of course nothing beats the real one. My mom would only cook this dish if she could find fresh coconut in the market. The more matured the coconut is the thicker the meat gets and is best for this kind of preparation. She normally buys the one with bumbong (young coconut shoot) inside , thats truly yummy to munch.
Here’s a delicious recipe for Ginataang Kalabasa, each household in the Philippines have their own version for this dish, but the secret of course lies on your coconut cream and ginger
1 small squash/ kalabasa/ kabocha (peeled and cut in cubes)
1 bunch of sitaw (string beans) (cut in bite size pieces
3 cloves of garlic
1 small onion sliced
1 small ginger sliced
1 tablespoon of shrimp paste (bagoong) optional
1 table spoon of fish sauce (patis)
1 cup of coconut milk
about 250 grams of shrimps
chili pepper (labuyo) optional
In a pan put some cooking oil, then add the ginger, garlic and onion. Sauté until they are wilted. Add the vegetables and shrimp paste and sauté for another five minutes. Then gently pour the coconut milk and let it simmer over medium fire for another five minutes. Add the shrimps, salt, peper and fish sauce to taste and continue simmering until vegetable are soft and tender. You can add the chili pepper if you want it spicy.