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[Recipe] Guinataang kalabasa at sitaw na may hipon (squash and long beans cooked in coconut milk with shrimps) *Updated with nutritional information

Guinataang kalabasa at sitaw na may hipon is one of those deceptively simple dishes to make but packs a lot of flavors especially when paired with freshly cooked rice. You get the yummy creaminess of the coconut milk, the slight sweetness of the squash, the umami flavors from the fish sauce and bagoong, the seafood goodness from the shrimps and at least for this version of this iconic Filipino dish also from the taba ng talangka incorporated in the sauce. 

Guinataang kalabasa at sitaw na may hipon
I would like to point out that I rarely chop onions and mince garlic these days. A convenient option is just to use an immersion blender (you still need to peel the cloves of garlic and peel and quarter the onion though) with some vegetable oil and water in a narrow and tall container that can accommodate the blender (the water just acts as a filler so that the blender can do its magic). I will then pour the slurry mixture in a pan and once the water evaporates, what you get is very fine garlic and onion being sauteed in vegetable oil. I have started doing this when I was doing pasta sauce that required a lot of onions and garlic and have not looked back since (cutting the prep time considerably).

If you want a thicker sauce, you can set aside some of the diced squash and puree it with water using the immersion blender. Add the pureed squash at the same time as the coconut milk in the recipe.

The addition of taba ng talangka (bottled river crab fat - available in most groceries in the Philippines) is optional but is highly recommended (I would even say it is what makes this recipe stand out from the traditional recipe). Since we leave the shrimps whole and the cooking time for shrimps isn't that long, you don't really get that shrimp or seafood taste in the sauce (aside from the fermented shrimp paste). Adding the crab fat imparts the sauce with that rich crab flavor. Alternatively, you can choose to peel the fresh shrimp and pound the heads and extract the flavor to form a broth that has the shrimp flavor. I personally prefer to incorporate whole shrimps since I enjoy sucking on the shrimp heads :).

I have written another version of this recipe here using hibe (dried small shrimps) and tuyo flakes (flakes of salted dried fish).


1/4 of whole kalabasa (squash), peeled and cut into half inch cubes (roughly equivalent to 2 cups)
1 cup of sitaw (long beans), cut into 2-inch segments
300 grams of large whole fresh shrimp, you may wish to devein if you like but I usually don't bother
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 whole bulb of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons bagoong (fermented shrimp paste)
2 Tablespoons taba ng talangka (bottled river crab fat) - optional but it makes this dish so yummy!
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
patis (fish sauce) to taste


In a medium pot, saute the garlic and onions in a bit of vegetable oil until the chopped onion is caramelized and the minced garlic is slightly browned. Add the paprika, bagoong, and the taba ng talangka and continue to saute until you have an aromatic paste. 

Add the squash and just enough water to barely cover them in the pot. Let it simmer on low heat until the squash is cooked through and tender. 

Add the coconut milk and continue simmering to reduce the liquid. You can optionally add pureed squash to help thicken the sauce and imbue it with more squash flavor. 

Stir in the shrimps and long beans and let it cook covered for 10 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper and patis (fish sauce) to taste. 

Serve piping hot with freshly cooked rice and enjoy!

Nutritional information (per serving): based on 5 servings per recipe
(approximated based on the ingredients used at the time I made this and may vary depending on the actual ingredients you use if you make your own version of this dish)
Calories = 244
Fat = 12.3 grams
Cholesterol = 96.9 mg
Sodium = 1,147.2 mg
Potassium = 485.2 mg
Carbohydrates = 22.5 grams
Protein = 19 grams


lesterscope said...
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Lester Varela said...

I like this dish. I especially like the slurry when mixed with rice. My mom often cooks this food because she is a Bicolana and when you hear food from Bicol, you often associate the coconut milk because coconut is rich in that region.

I agree that this is a simple dish. I can cook this when there's a guide. Thanks for sharing this. I will definitely taste this dish in the near future.

JEP said...

Thanks Lester. Yeah I am also a huge fan of Bicol dishes even though I'm an Ilonggo myself. Feel free to look around the site and you might want to try out a few other things too. :D