Sugpo, Kalabasa at Sitaw sa Gata a la Marketman


The terrific looking still life of vegetables I wrote about the other day didn’t last very long… I cooked it for dinner that evening to pair up with the chili crabs. The heat and gat2spice of the crabs were meant to be tempered by the coolness and sweetness of the coconut milk, squash and ginger. I arranged a portion of the dish in a hallowed out half coconut shell, up top, for photo reasons only, or if I owned a restaurant that needed that bizarre height that fancy shmancy places are wont to do. The recipe is really easy to do and a real crowd pleaser.

To make, peel some kalabasa (squash) and cut some sitaw (yard long beans) into gat3two inch pieces. In a kawali, sauté some large slices of ginger and onions in some vegetable oil. Add some garlic if you like. Then add some freshly made coconut milk and boil this for a few minutes until thickened. Then add the squash and cook for several minutes. Add the sitaw (beans), siling mahaba (long mild green chilies) and cook a few minutes longer then add prawns if using, season liberally with salt and pepper and if you want the ma-arte version, add squash blossoms for interest and as a garnish. Serve immediately and make sure you don’t overcook this dish as the squash can get too soft. Actually, I like this dish by itself along with some brown rice but it also goes very well with spicy food. If you live abroad and only have access to canned coconut milk, this recipe works well with canned versions…just thin the milk a bit and adjust moisture levels as necessary.


18 Responses

  1. I just love everything on it, shrimps, squash, squash blossoms,chilies and coconut milk! I wonder if a little of alamang will make it yummier? I’ll try this tomorrow. Thanks!

  2. This would be an all-time favourite dish for me. One of my top 10 dishes, I just decided. Everything I love is in it — prawn, squash, ginger, sitaw, gata… still can’t figure out why this and many other Pinoy dishes aren’t a hit in other countries.. but there’s already been a discussion on this.

  3. Very nice pictures! I can’t help but stare at the photos and imagine…nakakagutom… considering I had coffee and bland Irish oatmeal for breakfast. I just love the pictures with the vegetables arranged as center piece yesterday and now luto na with sugpo, yummy!!!

  4. Aaargh!!! Made a mistake of checking this site at 11pm. Before I even got the chance to change it, I saw the pics. Now I’m craving for it, favorite ko to e. Masama pag hindi ko nakukuha yung cravings ko, ang dami kong nakakain na ibang pagkain para pantapat.

  5. Looks like a sublime effortless meal deal. How hard it is to peel kalabasa and cut it into serving pieces and the sitaw? Why you commissioned the prawns with their shells on, for flavor, presentation or to keep their body? I’m with you on your serving presentation in half coconut shell very aesthetic, inviting and tropical look. This dish really pairs well with the chili crabs to balance out the heat. Give me tons of rice and regular soda please to go with this dinner.

  6. I’ll cook this tomorrow minus the sitaw ’cause they don’t sell it here.Maybe add a little bit of bagoong alamang–yummy!
    Marketman –I can’t wait to start working again as I want to lose the weight I’ve gained from reading this blog everyday. hahahaha I’m always inspired to cook—not good for my tummy :-) and PLEASE organize an eyeball in Sydney—- I will volunteer to help :-)

  7. i love love love ginataang kalabasa! My mom makes this shirmps and sometimes with bulad (dried fish). Will go to the grocery later to buy the ingredients and cook this for dinner=) Very nice presentation MM! =)

  8. I like to add some bagoong to this dish, but cooking it with fish or crabs or shrimp may eliminate the need to add bagoong. What is it about coconut milk based sauces and seafood that make it a perfect combination I wonder?

  9. oh my! buti malapit na ang lunch dito, hehehehe. my mom makes a mean version of this, only with bagoong and siling labuyo. yummy!

  10. Like Frayed, I wonder why Pinoy food hasn’t reached the popularity of Thai, Viet, Indo, and Malay food. I’d like to know when this was discussed. I always have problem where to bring my guests for authentic, good Pinoy food.

  11. This is my comfort food :) It’s usually served with fried tilapia in my house, pero it’s perfect with anything fried. I remember eating this with the kalabasa mashed into my rice :)

  12. thanks for the coconut shell presentation idea. it sure would be a hit dish in a party, imagine, an ordinary sitaw at kalabasa sa gata being served in a half buco shell…and with squash flowers too. whew! really fancy schmancy! anyway, i really love this dish, being a gata lover. i like it pinoy-style with shrimps or alimasag, sometimes a small amount of bagoong in the gata. canned gata works as well too, esp. if it’s the thai brand.

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