i only learned how to cook when i started working here in singapore. at first, i used to email mama for recipes. and then, i started to hunt around for food blogs with easy-to-make recipes. good thing my teammate, din, also likes cooking. we share recipes and kitchen finds and stuff like that.
anyway, ever since we had that incident with the owners in queenstown, i lost interest in cooking (that being their main complaint). so, i promised myself that i would cook again once we’ve moved to a new place. and that’s exactly what i did. early saturday morning, ross and i went to the market ang bought food that, hopefully, would last us for two weeks.
i cooked ginataang kalabasa with chicken breast first. it’s the easiest and fastest dish to prepare. (ang olats ko, wala man lang pictures.) i figured i’ll post the recipes here so i would have a copy as well. i tend to forget stuff 🙂
- 1/2 kalabasa, peeled, cut in chunks (big chunks are great because they tend to get squished) – better if you get a malagkit kalabasa. they are more flavorful.
- 1 chicken breast fillet, sliced into strips or cubes or chunks whatever you like
- 7-8 pieces of string beans, cut into small pieces
- 1 pack of coconut powder (because i don’t know how to do real gata) – dilute the coconut powder in 1 mug/cup of water. depends on how thick or thin you want it to be.
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion (1/4 is fine if it’s a big onion. for me, it doesn’t matter if the onion is red or white, they both make me cry)
- olive oil
- herbs (i use mixed dried herbs, the one that comes in small bottles)
- knorr chicken or pork cube
- black pepper, ground or crushed
- ground cinnamon – optional (i feel it enhances the kalabasa’s taste, and yeah, pangpa-arte lang :))
marinate the chicken breast in olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs. a few minutes is fine, just enough to add flavor.
add the chicken breast with olive oil mixture. add more olive oil if the oil is not enough to cook the chicken.
cook the chicken until its water inside drains out or when you start seeing threads of white chicken meat.
add the onions. saute for about two minutes or until the onions are translucent.
add the garlic. saute.
when the garlic is cooked (not burnt), add the diluted coconut powder. let it simmer.
when the liquid starts to boil, add the kalabasa. let it simmer again.
check on it every now and then, make sure there’s enough water. add half a mug/cup of water if necessary. you’ll notice the kalabasa will become soft and squishy. and the liquid will become orange-y in color.
add pepper, knorr cube, herbs (if you want) and cinammon powder.
when the kalabasa cubes are super soft and squishy (not dissolved; you should still be able to see big chunks), add the string beans.
simmer again for a few seconds (string beans are not supposed to be over-cooked). done!