This is a perennial favourite in my house. There are lots of versions of this dish all over the Philippines but my recipe below is how we do it in Laguna (about 2 hours south of Manila). Coconut is plentiful in the region that is why you’ll find it is almost always present in Laguna recipes from entrées to desserts.
Although prawn is prominent in the name of the dish all you need is the flavour of prawn. This is not supposed to be a luxurious seafood dish but rather a rustic side dish usually paired with grilled or fried fish.
Snake beans (sitaw) are typically included in this dish but I didn’t find any in the shops. I also add mustard greens (mustasa). The slight bitterness of this vegetable adds more dimension to this otherwise plain dish.
Ginataang Kalabasa at Hipon (Pumpkin & Prawns in Coconut Milk)
1 medium onion chopped
6 slices of ginger
4-6 medium prawns
Pumpkin (I don’t know how to quantify this. 1 regular size wedge, I suppose)
1 bunch mustard greens
1 can coconut milk
Fish sauce or sea salt
Oil for sautéing
Heat the oil in a pan.
Sauté the ginger for about a minute then add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent.
Add the prawns and cook for about a minute.
Add the pumpkin.
Add a bit of fish sauce or sea salt at this stage of the cooking.
Pour in the coconut milk and simmer until the pumpkin is done.
Add more fish sauce or sea salt if necessary.
Add the mustard greens and cook for another minute.
Serve with grilled or fried fish.