29 Oct2005

Kalabasa at Sitaw sa Gata is one of my favorite Filipino vegetable dishes and akalsit1almost certainly one of the easiest. Gratification to effort quotient is really good. I can eat this with some steamed rice without a meat or fish dish and would be perfectly happy. But it does also go well with a nicely fried fish or some wickedly fatty fat. I think many Filipino vegetable dishes are overcooked or allowed to sit for too long before they are consumed, as a result, I find veggies are overshadowed at most meals. Instead, they are relegated to side dishes or make cameo appearances in soups, stews, etc. The vegetable section of most menus at Filipino restaurants is usually rather anemic, and it is increasingly annoying me because it is so easy to do tasty, nutritious and economical vegetable dishes right!

To make, start with some good coconut cream akalsit2(fresh thicker first pressing or canned) that you boil down to a thicker consistency. Add some long green chillis a few of which have been slit open to extract spice and some chopped white onions. Add the peeled and cubed kalabasa (squash) and cook for a bit. Add the sitaw that have been cut into two inch lengths and add some water if necessary. Season with salt and continue to cook covered for just a few more minutes until vegetables are just cooked. Serve soon after. Some variations include adding some cubed pork or perhaps small prawns. The secret to making this one notch better than the rest? Start with good quality ingredients. Use the chilli pepper as it adds zing rather than having a sweet dish. Don’t overcook. And cook this at the last possible moment before eating. This is one dish that Filipinos around the world can readily make if they have access to Asian markets with long beans…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. kayli says:

    Hey there, I link you, I hope you don’t mind.
    Inggit ako sa ginataang kalabasa mo. I also have an entry about kalabasa and mine is not as good as yours, for sure.

    Oct 29, 2005 | 1:02 pm

     
  2. aleth says:

    hey, i have this in mind for lunch tomorrow but with some okra, ampalaya and a bit of pork he he he :) !!!

    Oct 29, 2005 | 3:34 pm

     
  3. lorenzo says:

    What a fantastic food blog, i’ve been reading it for the last half hour. Seasonal and inspiring.

    Oct 29, 2005 | 7:02 pm

     
  4. Elna Smith says:

    I love ginataang kalabasa & sitaw as much as you do! I cook this at least once a month. However, using canned coconut milk (which is more convenient to use here in London) is not as good as the fresh ones. I do need to take back to London one of those coconut grater (kayuran – is that how it’s called?) next time I travel to the Phils. Thanks for the post – the pix looks so yummy – great reminder of one of my fave!

    Oct 29, 2005 | 9:40 pm

     
  5. Apicio says:

    In the Asian stores I frequent in the West-end of Toronto they halve sections of great squash from the tropics so you can actually see their thickness and their beautiful deep tangerine interior, the colour of autumn and halloween. I pick them up on impulse mesmerized by the colour. I cook them as you do and in bulanglang or sometimes as a soup with a dash of curry powder or with the remnants of rendered pork fat that the butchers here give away free. Sure to end up plastered on my arterial walls but I try to blur such imagery out of my mind. I also pick up different varieties of persimmons that come out here round this time, again rivetted by the colour. I wish I could say the same thing with our tiesa, about the only fruit that truly revolts me and sets my stomach churning just to recall its mealy blandness.

    Oct 30, 2005 | 3:19 am

     
  6. rina says:

    how timely MM, the hubby and i were just at the local farmers market yesterday and i pointed to one of the giant pumpkins they had on display for halloween saying….how many vats of ginataang kalabasa do you think that one would make (hehe)

    the farmers market was fabulous as I expected. featuring produce straight from the farmers of British Columbia and Alberta. (will take photos on my next visit to send you)

    apart from the fruit and veggie areas, interesting finds for me were bison meat and elk meat – farm raised (hmmm might try doing a tapa with these, ive already discovered how great a tapa Alberta beef makes!) and some wonderful artisanal breads.

    but alas! none of these compare with the gargantuan craving i now have for ginataang sitaw and kalabasa that started soon as I saw the photo you posted! (hmmmm with halloween soon over, im sure kalabasa prices are about to hit rock bottom!)

    Oct 30, 2005 | 2:56 pm

     
  7. Ivan M. says:

    MM,

    One of my all-time fave Pinoy veggie dish! I noticed you used green peppers for this particular feature, well, i always tell my mom to use the red ones (labuyo) cause it adds a nice zing to the creamy taste of gata.

    Kalabasa to me is only good (and nutritious!) but also makes for one of the best food extenders (think crab in gata with kalabasa, ukoy with ground kalabasa…yum!) the former reminds me of the Singaporean Chili crab in a richer and healthier form.

    You should try this dish with real sitaw (not baguio beans) and the zing and crunchiness is memorable!

    Oct 31, 2005 | 12:00 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    Kayli, I saw your version through your link… it looks good. Complete dish with the pork, just add rice and yum!

    Aleth, your version sounds almost like pinakbet!

    Lorenzo, thanks for visiting the marketmanila website…

    Elna, with the kayuran you’ll need the brown coconuts, ready for grating… can you get those in london? Alternatively, I find the thai canned coconut milk rather good, though a little water added is needed if you don’t want it too thick.

    Apicio, curry and squash are an excellent pair. I do love the squash and coconut though. Was never a great fan of persimmons but agree they look stunning!

    Rina, glad you are getting out and about and seeing what is in the farmer’s markets. I once took my daughter to a “pumpkin patch” and we had a picture in front of a pumpkind that was possibly 4 feet tall and several hundred pounds! Humongous and scary at the same time.

    Ivan, I did use real sitaw, not baguio beans. My photo shows them as being very dark green because I chose that variety for this dish… there is a lighter green strain that is also good… though I am told that those in the know prefer the dark green ones. Excellent dish… I should try it with red peppers sometime…

    Oct 31, 2005 | 6:41 pm

     
  9. Ramon Gonzalez says:

    Fantastic a fascinating website

    Nov 2, 2005 | 4:50 pm

     
  10. Marketman says:

    Ramon, thanks for visiting Marketmanila!

    Nov 2, 2005 | 7:53 pm

     
  11. mae gabriel says:

    i was reading this and couldn’t help noticing that almost everyone has a version for kalabasa and i just couldn’t help it and want to also join in…

    i love ginata too and i made some recently which is in my blog (i hope you visit it sometime). i’m lucky enough to get some veg like talong, okra, ampalaya and sun squash here where i live though i wish i can get some sitaw, i might just be pushing it a bit. you’ve inspired me to put some chillies next time i cook ginata. i remember i used to love ginataang gabi which had lots of chillies!

    Nov 4, 2005 | 3:48 am

     
  12. May Ann says:

    Mr.Marketman, we used to cook also ginataang kalabasa but instead of salt we used bagoong alamang to taste and daing as sahog.

    Nov 5, 2005 | 12:19 pm

     
  13. joan says:

    wow ang galing mo noon pa ako naghahanap ng ginataang kalabasa na recipe mahilig kasi ako sa vegetables especially kalabasa and mahilig din ako sa kahit anong food na merong gata so i have decided to cook this for dinner and i hope that my family would love it

    Jul 30, 2006 | 3:03 am

     
  14. dianne says:

    wow!!!tingin pa lang ang sarap na po niyan ah…i’m diAnne po…10 years old and a grade 5 pupil,naiopen ko po itong cite na i2 kasi may cook fest po sa school nmin and ang napili ko pong recipe ay ang ginataang sitaw kalabasa,and talong..but noong iniopen ko po i2 po ang lumabas..ask ko lang po kung pwede po bang i-share nio sa amin kung pano gawin un?pls…kelangan lang po…pls…babalik po ako d2 sa cite na 2 ha…i-email nio nmn po ako sa friendster ko sa:NiCe_DiAnNe@yahoo.com..or d2 na lang po..pls….

    Jul 10, 2007 | 6:40 pm

     
  15. Erico Chan says:

    I love ginataan sitaw-kalabasa and would add chicharones (not the airy ones)toward the end of the cooking.

    Jul 25, 2007 | 6:29 am

     
  16. silverdoe says:

    I just finished cooking it, and im so excited for dinner.It´s my first time to cook ginataang kalabasa and it tastes really good! Instead of cooking the coconut milk first, I fried first the pumpkins,pepper,beans and eggplant with soja then lastly i added the milk.It is so easy to cook yet so delicious!!!!yummmy…

    Aug 14, 2007 | 11:35 pm

     
 

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