A classic Filipino vegetable and meat dish, this sauteed butternut squash with pork (Ginisang Kalabasa) is so yummy and easy to make. Paired with rice, it’s such a tasty and wholesome meal! You will find this dish in any cafeteria all over the country.
I seriously can eat this dish every day! It’s that good!
I remember growing up in our island province and this Sauteed Butternut Squash with Pork (Ginisang Kalabasa) has always been on our weekly menu. It’s such a simple dish and yet it’s so tasty and is more-ish especially when paired with rice. There’s a contrast of sweet and salty flavors – sweetness from the squash and saltiness from the seasoned pork. Truly, the Filipino comfort food.
This is such a popular dish that you can find this viand in any cafeteria or food court that features a Filipino menu. The best thing is that it’s such a simple recipe that anyone can make it. You can opt to make this vegetarian too but it’s typically paired with meat in the Philippines. It’s usually cooked with pork either as sliced meat or ground but you can also use fish, beef and, rarely but not totally odd, with chicken. My favorite is pork as most Filipinos would agree.
The first thing to do is to choose some pork with a bit of fat. This would give the dish a lot of flavor. Pork belly is the best for this! Simply cook the pork first without the need for any oil as it would render its own fat, thereby releasing all its flavor.
Season the pork with salt and pepper as you brown it.
In the pork fat, saute the garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Now you’re adding even more flavor!!!
Pour some water then simmer until the pork is tender.
Once the pork is tender (and super flavorful at this point), add the butternut squash and cook until soft but not mushy. Uncover and eat with rice mopping up all that yummy sauce!
Sauteed Butternut Squash (Ginisang Kalabasa)
A classic Filipino vegetable and meat dish, this sauteed butternut squash with pork (Ginisang Kalabasa) is so yummy and easy to make. Paired with rice, it's such a tasty and wholesome meal! You will find this dish in any cafeteria all over the country.
- 1 lb pork belly (or pork with some fat), chopped thinly
- salt and pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeded (optional) and chopped
- 1 cup water, or more as needed
- 1 1/2 lb butternut squash, sliced into cubes or bite-size pieces
Heat the wok or skillet to medium for a couple of minutes. Add the pork pieces. No need to add oil, since the pork would release its fat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the pork until nicely browned all over.
Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion has softened about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.
Pour in the water and deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low until the pork is fully tender about 20 minutes or so. If it dries, simply add a little more water.
Uncover and add the butternut squash; cover and cook until the butternut squash is tender about 10 minutes or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed. Alternatively, use some soy sauce or fish sauce for more flavor. Serve with rice on the side.