Upo trials – Part 3!
Ginisang Upo

So we wrassled another upo into submission..

Left: bottle squash/upo - good for weight-lifting exercise! Right: after much struggle, victory over said squash.
Left: bottle squash/upo – good for weight-lifting exercise! Right: after much struggle, victory over said squash. Thanks, K!

K and I took a kind of lame bbq class a while ago, but they did provide us with a useful tip of how to cut things: using a large knife that’s flat on its dull edge, hold it over the item, then hammer downward at the tip to evenly distribute the force of the knife.

Top: broken knife. Meh, it was time to get a new one anyway. Bottom: a bad view of the technique described.
Top: broken knife. Meh, it was time to get a new one anyway. Bottom: a bad view of the technique described.

This worked on the stubborn squash until it broke the knife.. It was a team effort, many thanks to sous chef K. See how the metal doesn’t go all the way through to the end of the handle? Yeah, that was its downfall.
Based on this recipe from Panlasang Pinoy for Ginisang Upo by Vanjo Merano

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients prep: the most time-consuming part of the recipe, in the case of our very-extra-grown squash.
Ingredients prep: the most time-consuming part of the recipe, in the case of our very-extra-grown squash. Stuff at the bottom here was discarded (well, we saved the seeds for next year, of course).

Ingredients

– 1 medium sized Upo (White Squash) , sliced
– 5 cloves garlic, crushed
– 1 medium sized onion, diced
– 2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
– ¼ lb ground pork
– 3 tbsp cooking oil
– 1 tsp salt
– ½ tsp ground black pepper
– 1 hank cellophane rice noodles

Clockwise from top left: saute tomatoes and onions, add pork, add upo, add noodles.
Clockwise from top left: saute tomatoes and onions, add pork, add upo, add noodles.

Steps

  1. Heat the pan and pour the cooking oil, about 5 minutes.
  2. Sauté the garlic, onions, and tomatoes.
  3. Put-in the ground black pepper and ground pork then simmer for 3 to 5 minutes
  4. Add the Upo (White Squash), cover the pan, and simmer for 4-6 minutes.
  5. Add rice noodles, simmer 2 minute.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Serve hot, over brown rice (option”). Enjoy!

Check out Vanjo’s step-by-step video! Salamat po, Kuya Vanjo!

 

Novelty Rating: 5 of 5
This traditional filipino dish I’ve never tasted turned out delicious, even though I’m pretty sure I cooked the upo longer than necessary!
Likelihood of Repeat: 60%
Fighting the hardened rind to get inside may mean we won’t eat this again until next year when we harvest the squash earlier (if we grow it), but yeah, I think this is a pretty straightforward recipe that turns out tasty, and is relatively foolproof, too. Unfortunate or fortunately, we still have 3 more left, and the longer we wait, the harder it gets and the less edible portions there will be..
Lesson learned: You can learn how to cook something from a video that’s not all in English (see video above), haHA!

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