Ginisang Sitaw at Kalabasa Recipe

Ginisang sitaw at kalabasa basically translates to sauteed string beans and calabaza, a type of Indian squash typically grown in the West Indies and tropical countries like the Philippines. Sauteed or gisa recipes are some of the most common Filipino recipes in the country, because of the ease of this cooking method, which in Filipino recipes, is the first step to cooking Filipino dishes.

You can gisa practically anything and Filipinos love to use this cooking method to use on everyday recipes. We even gisa our white rice, especially if we have some leftovers from the day before. It’s one of my favorite Filipino breakfast dishes and also the favorite for basically everyone I know.

To find out more about gisa or ginisa cooking method, check out the ginisa section on 13 Traditional Filipino Ways of Cooking.

This recipe is very simple to follow and is often one of the first Filipino recipes that home cooks can master or basically anyone new to cooking. The choice of ingredients creates a relatively healthy dish. 

Along with the string beans and chopped kalabasa, I’ll be using canola oil but you also use canola oil on this dish and a small portion of chopped pork. All of these ingredients will be sauteed along with the aromatic mixture of onion, garlic, and ginger. For seasoning, I’ll be using fish sauce but the normal everyday sauce can bring out the flavors just fine. I just like that extra kick of flavor from the fish sauce. 

Of course, you can do without the pork and just use salt for a vegan version of the dish. I like to add a little amount of pork on my ginisang sitaw at kalabasa recipe for the added protein and a more dynamic flavor.

The cooking process is some of the simplest in Filipino cuisine. The first step is to add ample amounts of your oil in a heated yok. Once that’s oil is hot, dump in the chopped garlic first then sautee. After a couple of minutes, add the chopped onions and garlic in the yok. Sautee these ingredients together until the aromatic flavors are brought out then you can add the pork cubes and cook until it’s golden brown.

You can then add the skinned and chopped kalabasa in the dish which only needs to be half-cooked to add the string beans in the yok. The string beans or sitaw needs to be chopped as well for just about 2 inches. Sautee everything for two minutes.

Almost done! To create the dish’s delicious sauce, add your desired amount of water for the sauce then season with fish sauce or salt. Let this boil for 5 minutes. Squash a couple of the kalabasa cubes in the yok then stir it around to thicken the sauce. Let this boil for another 2 minutes and you’ve just cooked the delicious and healthy ginisang sitaw at kalabasa recipe.

Serve with some fluffy white rice and you’re good to go. Ginisang sitaw at kalabasa can be eaten during any part of the day, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner it always leaves whoever eats it filled. You can even make a dessert with the leftover kalabasa you didn’t use but that’s for another recipe.

Ginisang Sitaw at Kalabasa Recipe


  • Squash
  • String Beans
  • Pork
  • Canola or Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Salt or Fish sauce


  • Heat pan then add enough oil to saute the ingredients.
  • When oil is hot, saute garlic then add onion and ginger.
  • Add pork and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the cube-sliced squash until half-cooked.
  • Add the 2-inches cut string beans and saute for 2 mins.
  • Add water of desired amount for sauce, add salt or fish sauce to taste then boil for 5 minutes.
  • Smash a number of squash cubes to thicken the sauce. Boil for another 2 minutes.


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