Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw Recipe (Squash with Coconut Milk and Long Beans)

An ex-colleague posted a picture of sticky rice (biko) in Facebook. The food was so tempting to the point that I thought I should make one even if I never cooked it before. Then I had to retrace my thoughts as I do not want to waste my money on an experiment that I am not confident I could make. But then something lit up on my head. Light bulb!

I still had left over squash from the previous day’s dish and I was supposed to cook sauteed squash just like the previous day but the sticky rice inspired me to be more creative. After learning how to cook chicken curry, I knew cooking any meal that involved the use of coconut milk was not going to be difficult.

So after battling with my mind and feet, I decided to go to the Old Market here in Siem Reap to buy the ingredients for what I prepared for dinner – Ginataang Kalabasa.

Bisaya 101: Ginataang Kalabasa is Tinunuang Kalabasa in Bisaya. Tinunuan {ti-nu-nu-an} comes from the root word ‘tuno’  which means “gata” 😉

Prior to going to the market, I checked online for the ingredients that I needed to buy. I know I still have onions and 1/4 kilo of squash inside our shared fridge. The websites say I need to have shrimp paste, ginger, tomato, pork, coconut milk and more.

After 30 minutes of searching for my ingredients inside the Old Market, I ended up buying 1 clove of garlic, 1 tomato, 3 long peppers, 1/2 kilo of long beans, 1/2 kilo of squash, 100 grams of baby shrimps, 1 small ginger and a 1/2 kilo of fresh desicated coconut (kinudkod na niyog). The vendor of the long beans added 2 stalks of onion leaves and 3 red chili peppers on my purchase free of charge.

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash in Coconut Milk and Long Beans)

So the crucial process of preparing the dish began. It took me so long to finish peeling the squash since its skin was so wrinkled. I didn’t buy meat too as I figured I’d use bacon meat instead. Also, I had to extract the juice from the coconut milk.

So here are the steps I did to cook my first Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash and Long Beans simmered in Coconut Milk) dish.

1. Sautee garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, onion stalks.
2. Add the shrimps and bacon.
3. Add salt and ground pepper.

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash in Coconut Milk and Long Beans)

4. Continue sauteeing till the shrimp and bacon gets cooked on their own juice.
5. Once the sauteed ingredients are almost dry, add the coconut milk and add the long green chili peppers. Check if there’s flavor in the dish. If none, add more salt to your taste.

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash in Coconut Milk and Long Beans)

6. Lower your heat to cook the meat. Once the meat are tender, add the squash.

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash in Coconut Milk and Long Beans)

7. Once the squash is almost tender, add the long beans. Continue letting it simmer until the squash and long beans are tender.

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash in Coconut Milk and Long Beans)

There you have it! Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw! This dish is best served with hot rice.

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw (Squash in Coconut Milk and Long Beans)

Am so happy with this experiment. When Ed saw what I cooked, he reacted negatively. He didn’t know that this was what I was going to cook. He thought the dish was going to be soup-based. I thought so too but it didn’t turn out that way. Nonetheless, I was still happy with the outcome. Ed was disappointed and sad because it’s going to be another failed diet for him 😆


1) If you can’t find fresh desiccated coconut, you can buy coconut milk in cans.
2) Ed complained the dish tasted like burnt something (lasang naay napaig). I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about till I realized it must be the taste of the smoked bacon 😉 so you might want to use real pork meat this time. You can also use [left over hinimay na] fish as an alternative to pork 🙂
3) Am not really a professional/expert cook so pardon my use of amateurish words on the instructions on how to cook Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw 😉


  1. Doi!!!! Pwede magpost ka pa kung paano magluto ng Pinoy food? This looks yummy and will try to make this as soon as I get back to London! Pasta etc lang lam ko eh T_T
    Catherine´s last blog post ..DIY: Schengen Visa Application

    • hahaha. subukan ko Cath 😉 nageexperiment lang din ako. buti nalang may food taster ako 😆 am just cooking based sa mga food na hinahain nang mom namin dati and check out the recipes online 🙂 and pang mahirap lang niluluto namin dito kasi limited budget (chos!) at may OC dito sa diet kaya mostly gulay lang daw dapat lutuin 😆

  2. Ulam namin ‘to nung Monday! Hihi. Doi, I suggest gawa ka na rin ng niche blog about recipes. I think you’d do well and inspire the rest to at least try to cook (and not just eat… like me hahaha)
    Micamyx´s last blog post ..My Favorite Lovi Poe Characters in Movies

    • hahaha. dami nang blogs! 😆 will try to consider that one mica. for now, dito nalang muna sguro 😉

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