Ginataang kalabasa, sitaw at hipon is one dish I like to cook with the shrimps’ shell left intact. Although it’s a bit messier, I find it a far more delicious experience when I get down and dirty with my hands and suck on heads, err, shrimp heads. Because really, what can be a better gustatory delight than tapping our rice-encrusted fingers on the plate, peeling shrimps and spooning that rich coconut sauce as we go?
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 banana chili pepper
- 2 cups kalabasa (kabocha squash), pared, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 cups sitaw (long beans), ends trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
- ½ lb large shrimps (about 7 to 8 pieces), tendrils trimmed
- salt to taste
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic until limp. Add fish sauce and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour in coconut milk and add chili. Bring to a simmer. Lower heat and continue to cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until slightly reduced.
- Add squash and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add long beans and continue to cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add shrimps and continue to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until squash is softened, long beans are tender yet crisp and shrimps have changed color.
- Season with salt to taste.