SAUTEED WHITE SQUASH WITH GROUND PORK & SHRIMP {aka Ginisang Upo - Filipino Food}

Sauteed White Squash with ground pork and shrimp or growing up as I know it, Ginisang Upo takes me back to my parent's house. It's been a while since I've made this easy dish! I forgot how quick it is to make, compared to some of the other Filipino dishes. This recipe is definitely for beginners and it's pretty healthy too (that's just my opinion).

Come to think of it, when you go to the grocery store the star of this dish, the white squash is actually listed as Upo. You can almost find it any grocery store or at least my HEB, Central Market and Randall's carry it. Whole Foods (the one near me) doesn't have it, if you can't find it at your local grocery story, definitely hit up an international or asian grocery store.

Growing up, I ate this with steamed jasmine rice, but it's great with quinoa or stand-alone. As long as my Mom had upo in the fridge she would have this dish on the table in minutes. She always had cooked ground pork and frozen shrimp stocked in the freezer, I wish I was that prepared in the kitchen, but I'm not.

Try this dish and let me know what you think!

SAUTEED WHITE SQUASH WITH GROUND PORK & SHRIMP

{aka Ginisang Upo - Filipino Food}

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized upo (white squash), peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1/4 pound (51/60 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined, finely chopped

  • Salt, season to taste

Directions

<preparing the upo (white squash)>

  • Remove the skin on the upo with a peeler.

  • Scoop out the seeds using a grapefruit spoon.

  • Cut length-wise, then cut cross-wise about 1/3 of an inch.

  • Set aside.

<preparing the ground pork>

  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.

  • Add the ground pork and water.

  • Break apart the ground pork with a spoon.

  • Cook for 5 minutes, it should come to a boil.

  • Skim off the scum with a spoon.

  • Strain the cooked ground pork, set aside.

<sauteeing>

  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.

  • Add the ground pork, stir and cook for 1 minute.

  • Add the onions and tomatoes, cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.

  • Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute.

  • Add the black pepper and upo, stir and cook for 1 minute.

<assembling the dish>

  • Add the broth and fish sauce; stir and turn heat to medium.

  • Cover for 2 minutes.

  • Add the shrimp, cover and cook for another 3 minutes.

  • Cook until the upo is tender, yet crisp.

  • Season to taste with salt.

  • Serve immediately!

Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can leave the seeds in the upo, it's edible; it's more of a preference thing. My mom removed the seeds, and that's how I make this dish.

  • There's an undesired smell, a very faint odor when cooking pork. When you cook the pork in the water bath, it helps eliminate the smell. Also removing the scum helps with the smell and prevents the overall broth from looking so cloudy.

  • If you add minced garlic too early along with the onions and tomatoes, it can scorch and turn bitter long before the dish is finish.

  • You can find the fish sauce in the ethnic aisle at your local grocery store.

  • Shrimp, especially chopped up into small pieces, cooks quickly. If you cook it too long it toughens up.

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