Dads Cook Good Food

For dads who enjoy cooking for their families

Going loco over coco: Butternut Squash and Yard Beans with Shrimps in Coconut Milk

(Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw na may Hipon)

“The coconut nut is a giant nut if you eat too much, you’ll get very fat…”
From the song, “Da coconut nut”
Lyrics and Music: Ryan Cayabyab

Most people who grew up in the tropics are used to seeing coconut trees almost everywhere: along beaches and coves, in one’s own garden, or even in a street corner. It is inevitable therefore to find coconut as part of their diet; from the main dish to desserts and yes, even appetizers and smoothies! This is probably why Filipinos who seek a better life abroad long for dishes that are cooked with this tropical fruit (or nut…whatever the case maybe). Most cities with a huge Filipino population have Asian supermarkets or groceries where one can buy coconuts, which usually comes from nearby tropical countries. In the case of New York, Montreal and Toronto, the produce comes from nearby Caribbean countries. Frozen or canned coconut milk and cream are also available in most supermarkets and the taste is as good, if not, close to freshly squeezed coconut milk (kakang gata).
The recipe that I’m featuring for this week’s blog was adapted from the Filipino cookbook, Kulinarya (Barretto, Calalang, Fores, Segismundo, Sincioco, and Tayag, 2008), with a few changes. Apart from the use of butternut squash which I discovered was tastier than the regular squash being sold in supermarkets, I did not include tomatoes but added ginger, which gives the dish an extra zing. This dish was also written for a fellow dad Mike, who after tasting it for the first time, requested his son to download the recipe from our blog so he can cook the dish again for him. 😀

1 pack of (about 300 grams) whole shrimps deveined
1 pc onion chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and minced
1 small piece of ginger, crushed and sliced
1 300 grams butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1.5 cm wedges
200-300 grams yard beans (sitaw) cut into 3-cms
1 400 ml of coconut milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Fish sauce (patis) and black pepper to taste

1. Prepare all ingredients and wash the vegetables before peeling and slicing.
2. Boil a pot of water. Once water boils, blanch the vegetables for about 1 minute. Drain water and immerse in cold water to stop cooking process.
3. Heat a pot and pour in oil.
4. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and shrimps over medium heat. Adding the shrimps at this point will flavor it with garlic. After about 3 minutes, remove the shrimps and set aside.
5. Add water (shrimp stock if available) and butternut squash. Simmer for 3 minutes.
6. Stir the coconut milk before adding it to the mixture. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
7. Add the beans and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.
8. Add the shrimps and toss it with the vegetables.
9. Add fish sauce and pepper to taste. Simmer for another minute then serve immediately with steamed rice.


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