I grew up in the Philippines where stings beans “Sitaw” is a common native vegetable that we cook at home. We add it to sour soup dishes, to beef stew and to other vegetable dishes. I was kind of surprise and at the same time excited when I saw it here in Canada. It is not available all year round, some Asian stores have it few months in a year. I didn’t pay attention what month or season we have it here, I just buy it whenever I saw it in the market.
Today’s Meat Free dish is using a string beans to make a simple and vegetarian dish. This dish has a natural sweetness from fresh squash and coconut cream. I call it my one pot vegetable wonder, it’s so easy to make and delicious and kind of healthy. The sauce is thick and creamy from coconut cream, the string beans and squash are tasty because of how it cooks in the coconut cream. This is a simple recipe, and these are the Ingredients that you will need. This is a very flexible recipe, it doesn’t have to be exact in measurement, you can increase or decrease the vegetables and adjust the seasoning as desired. The on;y important thing to remember, cook in medium heat and stir from time to time as coconut cream could burn easily when cook in high heat.
- String Beans
- Buttercup Squash – Butternut Squash, Acorn, Kabocha will work too, but not Spaghetti Squash
- Coconut Cream – I prefer using Coconut Cream because it has less water and more coconut cream, but If you cannot find one you can use coconut milk. If using coconut milk, chill the can of coconut in the freezer for about 30 minutes to allow the cream to solidify. Scoop out the cream at the top, that is what you will need. reserve the coconut water for something else.
- Salt – to give taste
- Sugar – the small amount will enhance the natural sweetness of the dish. This always works specially when using coconut milk or cream
- Sliced Ginger – add nice flavor and slight heat (but not too much)
- Fresh Red Chili – Adds a little bit of heat, if you do not like spicy food you can totally remove it.
300g String beans – cut into 4-inch long
200g Squash – cut into cubes
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
1 Fresh Red chili
12g Ginger – thinly sliced
1/2 Turmeric Powder
- In a large pan, add squash, salt, sugar, ginger, paprika, turmeric and 1/2 cup coconut cream. Cover and cook for 10 minutes in medium heat. Remove and transfer in a plate while leaving the excess sauce in the pan.
- Add string beans in the pan, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the string beans are soft and the sauce is reduced to your liking. Return the squash, plus the red chili pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
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