This vegan Ginataang Kalabasa also known as squash with coconut milk is one of the simplest Filipino Vegetable dishes you will make. It’s full of nutrients, heartwarming, and a great dish to eat with steamed rice!
What is Ginataang Kalabasa?
Ginataang Kalabasa is a Filipino Food that is very popular in the Filipino culture. It is made with these two key ingredients, Kalabasa also known as Kabocha squash and coconut milk.
The flesh (yellow part) of the kalabasa makes any dish creamy, but when cooked with coconut milk or cream, the creaminess intensifies as if there was milk mixed in.
Ginataang Kalabasa is considered one of the Filipino comfort foods and a favorite to those who love coconut milk and coconut cream. (Like me 🙂
What is Kalabasa?
Kalabasa also known as Kabocha Squash looks like a small pumpkin, is green with white/yellow spots. And the inside of the kalabasa looks very similar to a pumpkin, but it’s a bit more on yellow side.
Health Benefits of Kalabasa
The vegetable is high in:
- Vitamins A
- Vitamins C
Filipinos love meat and seafood in their soups, so they often add in pork, shrimp, and even dried fish. Nevertheless, this vegetarian Ginataang Kalabasa is a delicious dish in itself without the meat and seafood. But feel free to add your favorite vegetarian meat.
Tips and Tricks:
- Look for young squash with a greenish colored peel and not brown because it is tough and flesh is very firm
- When cooking squash or kalabasa, you can either have the skin peeled or not. If you are sure that the kalabasa is grown organically, you can choose not to peel it since we know that there are still nutrients in the skin.
- Do not let the coconut milk boil over the pot. The oil or cream in coconut milk tends to be lessened when it boils over, thus leaving you with a less creamy dish.
- You can also add mung beans or monggo beans to this dish. Just make sure to boil the mung beans ahead before starting to cook the Ginataang Kalabasa to save cooking time.
- Adding string beans to this dish makes it much more delicious and you will love the added texture or bite when you eat this vegetarian Ginataang Kalabasa
How to Make this Ginataang Kalabasa – Vegetarian-Friendly Recipe:
Gather the ingredients for this Ginataang Kalabasa – Vegetarian-Friendly and once the ingredients are all ready, let’s begin!
- vegetable oil
- medium-sized onion
- clove of garlic
- kalabasa (kabocha squash)
- pure coconut milk or cream
- moringa or spinach leaves
- leaves of green onions, sliced
- pinch of pepper
Heat a nonstick pot over medium heat and add oil. Add the onion, garlic and cook until transparent or for about 1 minute:
Then add ginger and cook until fragrant:
Add the kalabasa squash and cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes:
The squash or kalabasa should look like this, an almost translucent yellow color. You can try to poke it with a fork or knife to see if it is already soft:
Next, add 3 cups of water and cover until it boils. (Keep an eye on it, you might have to add more if the water starts to evaporate):
Next add coconut milk or cream, salt, and allow it to simmer for about 3-5 minutes:
Season with salt and a pinch of pepper:
Then add moringa leaves:
Next, add the green onions and mix until just combined:
There you have it! This vegetarian soup is slightly sweet and savory at the same time. The sweetness comes from the squash or kalabasa.
You can never go wrong if you eat this Ginataang Kalabasa with steamed rice! Yum!!!
Frequently Asked Questions for the Ginataang Kalabasa – Vegetarian-Friendly Recipe:
Q: Can you freeze and serve the dish later?
A: Yes! Just make sure to let the soup cool down first before freezing it. When you are ready to serve, just heat and the Ginataang Kalabasa will taste just as fresh as a newly cooked soup does.
Q: What other leafy vegetables can I add if I don’t have moringa?
A: You can add water spinach, alugbati, or even chinese cabbage if you don’t have any moringa or malunggay leaves on hand. Green beans aren’t a leafy vegetable, but some people like to add it to this dish.
Q: Should I cook this dish on medium fire?
A: Yes. Simmering vegetables require only medium fire and the kalabasa doesn’t need that much high heat to cook. This is more of a slow cooking dish.
Here are more delicious Filipino Recipes:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium-sized onion minced
- 5 clove of garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 500 grams kalabasa kabocha squash, 1-inch cubes
- 3 to 4 cups of water
- 1 can pure coconut milk or cream*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup moringa or spinach leaves
- 2 leaves of green onions sliced
- pinch of pepper
- Heat a nonstick pot over medium heat and add oil.
- Add the onion, garlic and cook until transparent or for about 1 minute.
- Then add ginger and cook until fragrant, add the kalabasa squash and cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Next, add 3 cups of water and cover until it boils. (Keep in eye on it, you might have to add a bit more if the water starts evaporates)
- Next add coconut milk or cream, salt, and allow it to simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
- Then add moringa leaves, green onions, and mix until just combined.
- Season with salt and a pinch of pepper.
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