Ginisang Upo with Pork made with tender-crisp bottle gourd squash and tasty pork belly strips. A delicious vegetable dish you’ll love with steamed rice or on its own!
As you can see from the list of ingredients and procedure, this ginisang upo with pork is similar to the pancit upo I posted a few days ago, sans the rice noodles.
I was midway through cooking the noodle stir-fry when I taste-tested the upo and pork mixture and thought it’d make a fantastic dish on its own. So after I took a few quick photo shots of the bihon, I prepared the remaining two bottle gourds in my fridge into this upo guisado.
Pancit and upo do go fabulously well together but if you’d rather enjoy the vegetable with steamed rice, here you go.
Tips on How to Make Guisadong Upo with Pork
- 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.
- Cut the pork and the bottle gourd squash into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
- The upo has a high water content so add liquid sparingly.
- Simmer uncovered lest they overcook in their steam.
- Take the dish off the heat a tad firmer than you like as the vegetable will continue to cook and soften in the residual heat.
- Season generously with freshly-ground pepper. Bottle gourd has a pretty mild, delicate flavor and needs that little kick of spice to be extra delicious.
Give this vegetable dish a try for dinner tonight. Not only is it a tasty accompaniment to steamed rice, but it’s also easy to make and budget-friendly.
As a bonus, upo is a low-calorie vegetable clocking in at just 14 calories per 100 grams. It can be a part of any weight loss regimen, but without the pork belly of course. 🙂
Ginisang Upo with Pork
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 pound pork belly, cut into thin strips
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 medium upo, peeled and cut into strips (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a wide pan or wok over medium heat, heat oil.
- Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add pork and cook, occasionally stirring, until lightly browned.
- Add tomatoes and cook, mashing with the back of the spoon until softened.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender and liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.
- Increase heat to medium. Add upo and cook, uncovered, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until half done.
- Add oyster sauce and stir to distribute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 to 4 minutes or upo is tender yet crisp. Serve immediately.