Ginisang Upo at Sardinas made with sardines and bottle gourd. This Filipino dish is quick and easy to make, budget-friendly, and nutritious as it’s delicious!
For someone who loves to cook and who blogs about it for a living, I have very basic tastes in food.
In fact, my idea of a great meal is a simple pairing of ginisang sardinas at miswa and scrambled eggs with piping-hot steamed rice. Definitely my kind of comfort food.
Ginisang upo at sardinas is another of my favorite ways to kick up the lowly can (two in this case) of tomato-packed sardines into an impressive dish. If you’re looking for something easy and affordable yet hearty and satisfying to prepare for the family, you can’t go wrong with this peasant fare.
Chock-full of crisp upo chunks and flaked sardines, it’s both nutritious and delicious!
- Choose young bottle gourds that are firm to touch and have a smooth, light green skin free of bruises spots or yellow discolorations. If the quash is young, the seeds are tender and edible. If more mature, scoop out the seeds and spongy interior as the seeds are too hard for consumption and the spongy flesh can turn mushy during cooking.
- Use a vegetable peeler to pare off the skin by running down the gourd lengthwise. Slice the gourd lengthwise into halves and then slice into uniform thickness to ensure even cooking.
- Cook the vegetable just until tender as it will continue to cook and soften in the residual heat.
- For a hint of spice, add a couple of minced chili peppers or a few dashes of hot sauce.
- Want to extend servings? Add misua noodles!
- For variety, swap the bottle gourd with bittermelon.
How to serve
- Serve for lunch or dinner with steamed rice with scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs for a delicious and filling meal!
- Store leftovers in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days. This dish does not freeze well as the bottle gourd becomes too mushy and watery from the freezing and thawing.
- To reheat, place in a saucepot and heat to an internal temperature of 165 F.
Ginisang Upo at Sardinas
- 1 large upo
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 cans (5.5 ounces each) tomato-based Sardines
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut and discard ends of upo. Using a peeler, peel skin. Cut the gourd lengthwise.
- If the interior is "too spongy" and has mature seeds, remove spongy flesh using a spoon and discard. Slice gourd lengthwise into halves and then slice into 1/2 inch-thick pieces.
- In a pot, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and saute until softened.
- Add tomatoes and continue to cook until slightly softened.
- Add fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add sardines and gently break into pieces, if desired.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- Add upo and stir to combine. Continue to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until upo are tender yet crisp.
- Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.