Dinner Tonight: Acorn Squash, Shrimp, and Green Bean Stew (Ginataan Sitawa Kalabasa) Recipe

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Dinner Tonight: Acorn Squash, Shrimp, and Green Bean Stew (Ginataan Sitawa Kalabasa) Recipe

[Photo: Nick Kindelsperger]

Snow fell for the first time this season in Chicago last night, a fact which many lamented by sending out sorrowful Twitter messages. But not me. I love snow, and can't wait to break out some hearty winter fare to go along with it. That doesn't always have to be a meat-heavy proposition. This dish from The Chicago Tribune's Good Eating Cookbook is pure comfort food, but the only meat that comes anywhere close to the dish is some shrimp.

It can sound like a little bit of a mess at first. Acorn squash, green beans, shrimp and green beans are cooked with coconut milk. But this turns out to be a variation on a traditional Philippine dish called Ginataan Sitawa Kalabasa (or Ginataang Sitaw Kalabasa). The squash comes out tender and fragrant, while the coconut milk coats every ounce in a rich and thick sauce. The green beans and the shrimp add a much-needed pop of freshness. All that was missing for me was a little spice. So I added a little bit of chili sauce at the table. That hit all the right senses for me—warming and soothing, with just a bit of heat and vinegar.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 one-inch ginger stem, peeled and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces shrimp
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut into 3-inch segments
  • Salt and pepper
  • chile paste (optional)


  1. 1.

    Add the butter to a large skillet set over medium heat. When melted, toss in the onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.

  2. 2.

    Dump in the shrimp, cook for 3 minutes, and then remove.

  3. 3.

    Pour in the coconut milk, stir well, and simmer for 30 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Add the squash and the green beans. Stir well, and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add the shrimp back to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and serve.