A Gift of Upo/Hyotan turns into Sari Sari

My friend at work has a green thumb.  I mean a really, really green thumb.  I am regularly gifted with fresh produce from his backyard including oranges, eggplant, and green beans.  On this day, I got grapefruit, jabon, and a hyotan/upo.  I segment the grapefruit and jabon for my daughter and me to enjoy as a cold, healthy snack. I usually make a kimchi/hyotan soup when I get this beautiful squash.

I wanted to do something different this time so I looked up some recipes and decided to try and make sari sari, a Filipino stewed dish.

We have tomatoes and wing beans growing in my backyard that I could add to the stew. I had some shrimp in the freezer that I’m trying to clear out for Thanksgiving. I just had to buy some eggplant, bittermelon, and crispy roast pork.

Since I knew that I would be busy in the afternoon with cheering on my daughter at a soccer game, I started the process early so that dinner would be ready when I got home after the game.


1 large onion, cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 chunk ginger, peeled
3 T patis
2 T white vinegar
2 T tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
1 large box chicken broth
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 hyotan, peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 long Japanese eggplants, cut into 2-inch pieces
4-5 wing beans in bite-size chunks
2-3 bittermelon, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound crispy roast pork, cut in 1-inch chunks

In a large pot, saute onion and garlic in oil. Add in tomatoes, patis, vinegar, tomato paste, broth, and ginger. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Add hyotan/upo and simmer for a few minutes. Add bittermelon, eggplant, and shrimp and simmer a little more. Finally, add the roast pork and gently stir until heated through.  Adjust flavor by adding salt or patis.

I sauteed the onion and garlic and started simmering the tomatoes with broth and patis mixture while getting the kids ready for school.  That way, when I got home after work, I just need to put in the veggies, shrimp, and pork.img_3093.jpgAnd all I have to do when getting home from soccer is heat it up.

Oh–I saved the bittermelon seeds and planted it in my yard in hopes of harvesting some homegrown bittermelon in the future!  Living Hilo Style.




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