I can’t specify which region in the Philippines Kabocha Squash and String Beans originated from but it is a common home cooked Filipino dish, served with a side of rice, and fried fish or meat. It is one of my favorite home cooked meals! When I was kid, I would usually mash the stir-fried squash and mix it in with steamed rice. Spoon it up with a bit of pork and a piece of green bean and the flavors of all these ingredients together is just home cooked heaven!
I had just moved to the US and was ready for a new chapter in life. I had a new job, new apartment, “new” second hand car. A Filipina in her mid twenties, thousands of miles away from home, ready to conquer the world!
… Or ready to conquer a Kabocha Squash!
I have not had the chance to cook Stir-Fried Kabocha Squash despite being one of my favorite dishes to eat. Since moving to a new country, I have not had a good home cooked Filipino meal for months and this was my chance. I was excited! I take out a medium sized Kabocha Squash from the grocery bag and set it on the counter. I say to myself, “I’m going to eat good tonight!”
I take a large knife and enthusiastically cut the Squash but it gets stuck midway inside the tough vegetable. I do all that I can to pull the knife out swearing fluently in Filipino and English. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to force the knife out any further and risk and cutting myself.
The whole Kabocha Squash with the knife still lodged in it ends up in the trash.
With any new cook, there will be mishaps, both frustrating and amusing. Looking back, I should’ve had more patience and made sure to use a sharp knife and to pierce the Squash slowly, cut gradually, then slowly work my way to the softer center until the Squash is cut in half.
Obviously, I’ve had more luck compared to that first attempt at Stir-Fried Kabocha Squash. I love this dish for it’s mix of textures, specially when served with a side of steamed rice.
– Cook squash until fork tender/ fork should easily slip through the squash.
– Be careful not to overcook or you’ll end up with mashed squash casserole!
– Coconut Milk can be added with the green beans (optional)
Stir-Fried Kabocha Squash and String Beans
- 2 tbsps oil
- 1/2 lb pork cut into bite size pieces
- 5 cloves of garlic diced
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 1 and 1/2 medium Kabocha Squash cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 water or soup stock
- 1/2 lb green beans
- 2-4 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup coconut milk optional
- Heat oil on medium to medium low heat
- Add pork, cook to brown, set aside.
- Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent and tender
- Add the pork, kabocha squash, and water/soup stock
- Add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce and pepper
- Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, mix occasionaly
- Add the green beans
- Optional: 1 cup coconut milk
- Add more fish sauce, salt and pepper if needed
- Continue cooking about 20 minutes or until squash is fork-tender