A simple Vegetable Stew in Coconut Milk dish made even more flavorful and delicious with dried shrimp and fried pork belly.
Ginataang Gulay means ‘vegetables in coconut milk’. It is somewhat Filipino’s version of vegetable curry without the spices. Long green beans (sitaw) and squash (kalabasa) are often, if not always, its main ingredients. Other vegetables like okra, eggplant, and winged bean (sigarilyas) can be used too. For flavor, proteins such as pork, chicken, fish, and shrimp are added.
In this recipe, we will be using dried shrimp or hibe in Filipino and lechon kawali or fried pork belly instead of their fresh form.
As the coconut milk simmers, the salty yet sweet flavor of the shrimp and the smoky bacon-like flavor of the pork are slowly released giving the stew a deep delicious flavor.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any leftover Lechon Kawali at hand. To make an easy and quick version, boil pork belly for 20 to 30 minutes in salted water. Drain and then fry in oil until golden brown. Easy!
You may see different types of dried shrimps in the grocery or supermarket: shelled, shell-on and tiny shell-on shrimp. I used the shell-on shrimp which doesn’t need to be soaked. Stir-frying it for a minute or two will help magnify its flavor.
Watch the video on how to Make Ginataang Gulay with Hibe and Lechon Kawali
Ginataang Gulay with Hibe and Lechon Kawali
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 medium size kalabasa (squash) (peeled, seeded, cut into cubes)
- 1/2 cup hibe (dried shrimp) (cleaned)
- 2 pieces siling haba (pangsigang)
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1 cup water
- 10 pieces sitaw (long beans) (cut into 2 1/2 inches length)
- fish sauce (to taste)
- 300 grams lechon kawali (fried pork) (cut into cubes)
- salt (to taste)
- In a pan, heat oil. Saute onions and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add dried shrimp (hibe), squash and green chili. Stir-fry until aromatic, about 1 to 2 minutes, over low to medium heat.
- Add coconut cream, water and sitaw. Cover with lid and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are half done.
- Season with fish sauce then add lechon kawali. Lightly stir. Taste and season with salt as necessary. Continue cooking until vegetables are cooked, about 2 minutes.Serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- If you're using shelled dried shrimp, pre-soaked it for 15 to 20 mins before cooking to release the flavor. Discard the water after.
- For shell-on shrimp, remove the tentacles and pointed sharp edge of the head. I forgot to do this but never mind.
- To make an easy and quick Lechon Kawali, boil pork belly for 20 to 30 minutes in salted water. Drain and then fry in oil until golden brown. Easy!
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