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Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa

Ginataan is a Filipino term that refers to anything cooked with coconut milk (or gata), while Sitaw means string beans and Kalabasa means squash. Ginataang Sitaw and Kalabasa may therefore be translated to "String Beans and Squash cooked in Coconut Milk." It can't get any shorter than that I guess.

Bok requested for this dish and so I checked the recipe from the Internet. Most of the recipes I found in the Internet would suggest to cook the coconut milk or gata first before adding the vegetable ingredients. The reason was that to avoid solid forming of the coconut milk. I thought that can only be true for fresh coconut milk and since I'm using canned coconut milk (which is more dilute) I altered my version into stir frying the squash together with the other ingredients, except for string beans as I don't want to overcook it. After a quick stir fry I then add the coconut milk. I was right, the milk did not make any solid form.

  • 1 small bundle of Sitaw or String Beans, cut into 2-1/2 to 3 inches long
  • 1 small size kalabasa, peeled and cored, cut into 2 inches cubes
  • 200 grams pork belly, sliced into short strips
  • 1 large canned coconut milk (fresh gata is more commonly used)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 pieces hot green pepper
  • Fish Sauce
  • Vegetable oil

    Cooking Instruction:
    1) Heat oil in a deep pan. Fry pork belly until lightly brown and set aside (be careful in frying as the oil tends to pop out from the pan.)
    2) Saute garlic and onion in the same pan then add back in the fried pork belly.
    3) Add the sliced kalabasa, stir then add fish sauce to taste and cover for 5 minutes.
    4)Add the coconut milk and hot green pepper and let it simmer.
    5)Add the string beans, then simmer for 5 minutes or until the string beans is cooked while stirring occassionally.

    Preparation and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
    Serving size: good for 4 persons

    Useful Info:
    1) This dish is best served with steamed rice.
    2) Boil pork belly first so you can slice it easily.
    3) Cover your pan when frying pork belly as the oil tends to pop out from the pan.
    4) Take the pan out from the heat when taking out the fried pork belly, again to avoid oil from popping out from the pan.

    Healthy Option:
    1) Replace pork with fresh shrimps or prepare the dish completely without it.

    This recipe is just delicious, trust me!
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