Ginisang Upo at Kalabasa refers to sautéed opo squash and butternut or calabaza squash. There is a bit of sliced pork added in the recipe to provide more flavor to the dish.
The latter can be considered as an optional ingredient, especially for vegetarians. This dish is something that can be served for either lunch or dinner on regular days. It is best eaten with warm rice.
I usually have this with fried fish on the side. It makes my meal more enjoyable. My favorite fried fish to pair this with is either fried galunggong or tilapia. I make sure to leave enough sauce on my ginisang upo at kalabasa. Have you tried pouring a bit of sauce over warm white rice and eat it with the veggies and fried fish altogether? Delicious, isn’t it?
I started cooking this dish by searing the pork on a pan until the oil gets extracted. Garlic, onion, and tomato were sautéed using the oil from the pork. Vegetables take only a few minutes to cook. It is important to ensure that the pork slices are tender before the vegetables are done. For this reason, I add around half a cup of water once the onion gets soft, and then boil the pork on the covered pot until the water completely evaporates.
The vegetables will go in only after the water evaporates. Start with the butternut squash since it takes longer to cook than the upo. Cook it for around 3 to 5 minutes before adding the upo.
One more thing, crispy fried dilis can also be added to this dish right after the veggies are cooked. This can be a good substitute for pork.