Upo in Filipino, Bottle Gourd in English, just because of its shape. Upo fruits are not hard to find. They are mostly available at any produce section. Filipinos have several ways of preparing Ginisang Upo or Sautéed Bottle Gourd. Like what Cathy did to her Ginisang Upo or sautéed bottle gourd, adding pork is just one of them.

Ingredients: 3-4 servings

4 cups medium upo, peeled and cut into strips
½ pound pork belly, cut in thin strips
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1 tbsp. coking oil
1 medium slice onion
2 minced cloves garlic
2 medium chopped tomatoes
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Cooking Procedure:

  1. First skin off upo, then slice them into thin cubes. Clean pork and cut them into thin strips.
  2. On a pan or a wok, heat the oil, sauté onions and garlic, then add pork strips and cook. Stir occasionally until pork turns brown.
  3. Apply sliced tomatoes to the mix, continue to stir until tomatoes are softened. Add water and bring it to boil. Adjust the heat to low, cover the pan and let ingredients simmer until meat is tender.
  4. Readjust the heat to medium, uncover the pan and add sliced upo into the mix. Let it cook while stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the bean sprouts, apply oyster sauce, then stir to combine ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer while stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes, or until upo is fully cooked.
  6. Turn off the heat, transfer Ginisang Upo with Pork hot on a serving bowl. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Tip: Always add bean sprouts last. They easily overcook. You can use fish sauce as a substitute to oyster sauce.