A Halloween Dish: Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (Sauteed Green Beans and Squash in Coconut Milk)

Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays are when pumpkins gain utmost popularity. It is the time for carving Jack-o’-lanterns and baking pumpkin pies. Many of us — unless we’re purists — often interchange the terms squash and pumpkin. The fact is, they’re in the same family of vegetables (purists may call them fruits) with thick, usually orange shell that makes for a long shelf life. In the same family as pumpkins, the kalabasa is quite popular in the Philippines and is a common ingredient for a tasty sauteed shrimp and vegetable dish. Since this is the eve of Halloween, I thought of preparing this recipe not only to celebrate the holiday but also in honor of the San Francisco Giants’ recent 2012 World Series victory. Incidentally, the Giants’ victory parade is also happening on Halloween and for sure, the city of San Francisco will turn orange like this dish!


12 oz butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 oz fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/3 lb fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined (tails off)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and cut into tiny strips
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
2 tbsps fish sauce
1 small green chili pepper, chopped
2 tbsps olive oil


In a large wok, heat olive oil in medium-high heat
Add garlic and saute until golden brown
Add onions and ginger and cook for 1 minute
Add squash and saute for 1 minute
Pour in coconut milk and bring to a soft boil
Add fish sauce and chili pepper
Reduce heat and continue cooking until the squash become tender
Add green beans and shrimp
Let simmer for 2 minutes
Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice (In honor of the orange and black colors of the SF Giants, I used steamed black rice instead)
Before taking your first bite, say, “trick or treat!” OR, “Go Giants!”


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