A healthy dinner of Ginataang Kalabasa and Tilapia
Monday, 27 July 2009

Ginataang Kalabasa, Tilapia fish and brown rice
Ginataang Kalabasa, Tilapia fish and brown rice by kutitots, on Flickr

Recently, my husband and I have been trying to adapt a healthy lifestyle. See the emphasis on “trying”—because really, it’s hard to eat “healthy” when you’ve got the whole wide world of yummy food. Luckily, you can have both: yummy and healthy at the same time!

How? Well, let me share with you one of my mom’s “healthier” recipes: a great combination of Ginataang Kalabasa paired with Tilapia and brown rice.

For the Ginataang Kalabasa, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium-sized tomato
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, minced
  • about 1/2 inch size piece of ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 medium-sized squash
  • small bundle of sitaw (string bean)
  • 1 siling pangsigang (chili pepper)
  • about 2 tablespoons of bagoong (shrimp paste)
  • 2 cans gata or coconut milk (my mom liked her coconut milk fresh, but if you don’t have much time like I do, the one in cans will do though it won’t be as yummy as fresh gata)
  • 1 cube of shrimp broth (I used this in the absence of shrimps, like the one in the picture)
  • patis (fish sauce) to taste
  • cooking oil

The fried Tilapia, is well… A fried tilapia! 🙂 Depends on how many of you are eating, you can deep-fry two or three medium-sized ones for a family of two. I’m horrible when it comes to gutting and cleaning fish (and yes, I don’t like the awful smell that came with it), so I leave it up to the people at the fish section of the grocery to gut and clean the fish for me. After dowsing the fish thoroughly with water, I simply rub rock salt to give it taste and deep fry it in a vat of hot oil.

Cooking the ginataang kalabasa is easy. Simply saute the garlic, onion, and ginger in oil. Add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes start to curl up, add the shrimp broth, then slowly pour in the coconut milk. Put in the shrimp paste, then the cubes of squash. When the squash is nearly done, add in the string beans, then the chili pepper.

You can add patis if the saltiness brought by the bagoong isn’t enough for you. Take a piece of fish (dip it in a sauce of combined vinegar and bagoong), a bit of ginataang kalabasa, and enough brown rice that will fit in your spoon… Hmmm… Yummy! 🙂

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9 Responses to “A healthy dinner of Ginataang Kalabasa and Tilapia”

  1. MrsLavendula says:

    i love squash in coconut milk! this post made me crave!

  2. Ria Jose says:

    I haven’t eaten kalabasa in a while. That looks yummy! 🙂

  3. beth says:


    Thanks for the recipe that you post I really appreciate it may boy ask me to cook a ginataang kalabasa and sitaw but i dont how a make and finally i found this site. thank you very much.

  4. Anna Carmina L. Reventar says:

    I’am a vegetable-lover person,and I must say that squash is one of my favorites.:) I like the recipe because it seemed to be such an ideal meal for all ages. I also love the very fact that this menu can give us the nutrients we need to keep on going.:)

  5. Martine says:

    Hey, Gail! I’m new to your blog — stumbled upon it actually during a search for healthy recipes!

    I love kalabasa. I make a simple guisado using it, which my husband loves. It’s also great for a summer soup! Try sauteing some leeks in butter and garlic, add some mashed boiled kalabasa, thyme, and chicken stock (I use Swansons, available in Rustan’s). Heat it all up, blend in an osterizer and serve with some sour cream. Sarap!!!

    Nice blog, by the way! Hope you don’t mind, but I linked you to mine. 🙂

  6. jon says:

    have you ever tried adding crushed peanuts to ginataan? masarap yun

  7. sweetie says:

    this is one of my favorite filipino dishes. Sarap ng food na may gata!

  8. mike says:

    this is my favorite dish