Nothing could be simpler to make than this recipe for sautéed opo squash. It's healthy and delicious and only takes 20 minutes to make. And you'll only need 5 other ingredients for this recipe, Garlic, Onions, Tomatoes, Shrimp (optional or you can use other types of protein or none at all), and stock or water.
This recipe was inspired by my Chicken Tinola which also uses another exotic Filipino vegetable, called chayote squash.
- What is Opo Squash?
- Is Opo Squash Healthy?
- What Does It Taste Like?
- Is the Skin Edible?
- How To Peel and Cut Opo Squash
- Can You Eat The Seeds?
- Where Can I Find Opo Squash?
- What You Will Need to Make This Recipe
- How To Make Sautéed Opo Squash
- Expert Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Filipino Dishes with Vegetables You May Like
- 📖 Recipe Card
- 💬 Reviews
What is Opo Squash?
Opo or (Upo) is native in Asia as it thrives in warmer tropical climates. I remember growing up in the Philippines, I would see long squash hanging from vine trellises every time I visited my Nanay in the Province. Those were one of the best memories growing up!
Opo squash looks like butternut squash in that it is long and cylindrical. However, unlike butternut squash, this long squash is very light green in color, like the color of a honeydew melon.
Is Opo Squash Healthy?
Yes, it is very healthy. It has small amounts of vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. It is also rich in fiber.
What Does It Taste Like?
The flesh has a refreshing taste like cucumber or zucchini. The texture is similar too. Since it leans more towards the bland side, you will need to season the squash to your liking.
Is the Skin Edible?
Yes, you can eat the skin. While you have the option of eating the skin, here's a tutorial showing how you can peel and prepare it.
How To Peel and Cut Opo Squash
- STEP 1: With a peeler, peel the skin.
- STEP 2: Cut the squash in half length-wise and cross-wise.
- STEP 3: Using a spoon, carve out the seeds and remove. Discard the seeds.
- STEP 4: Cut the opo squash in bite-size chunks so they cook all evenly.
Can You Eat The Seeds?
Yes. The seeds of the opo squash can be eaten while they're still young and tender. However, as the seeds mature, they get bigger, tougher, and will become bitter in taste. So to make sure that this Sautéed Opo Squash will be tasty and delicious, the seeds were removed and not used for this recipe.
Where Can I Find Opo Squash?
You can find them in the produce section with other exotic fruits and vegetables as you can see pictured here. This was at Woodman's grocery store.
What You Will Need to Make This Recipe
- Shrimp (optional)
- Opo Squash
- Water or Stock
How To Make Sautéed Opo Squash
- STEP 1: Peel the skin, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds from the middle. Cut it 1" length-wise then 1" cross-wise.
- STEP 2: Smash the garlic, chop the onions, and dice the tomatoes.
- STEP 3: Peel the shrimps.... WAIT, don't toss the shells away. Put them in a cup and fill it with 1 cup of water and set aside. We will use that as your broth for this dish.
- STEP 4: Sauté the garlic, onions, and tomatoes, then add the shrimp.
- STEP 5: When the shrimps are pink in color, add the squash and broth. Cover and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Here in the States, you can get opo squash pretty much any time of year at your local grocery store. You will find them fresh in the produce section.
- When picking an opo squash from the grocery store, choose one that is firm, and has no blemishes. If it feels soft to the touch it has passed its prime.
- The younger and smaller variety are tastier and sweeter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use a spoon to scrape and remove the seeds.
Yes, similar to cucumber and zucchini, it can be eaten raw.
Yes. It can be frozen prior to cooking it or stored in the freezer after it has been cooked.
Opo squash should have a nice light green flesh. If it has turned brown or slightly browned, it has passed its ripeness and should be discarded.
It most likely has already turned and has passed its ripeness. Also, make sure there are no hard seeds in the dish. The seeds, once matured, will be bitter.
Other Filipino Dishes with Vegetables You May Like
📖 Recipe Card
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic smashed
- 1 medium Onion chopped
- 1 medium Tomato chopped
- 1 cup Shrimp cleaned, peeled and deveined
- 1 Opo squash peeled and cut
- 1 cup of water or stock
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Clean, peel and devein shrimps. Reserving the shells (if you have them) put them in a cup and fill with water to be used as broth when cooking.
- Put olive oil in a braiser or skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add garlic and onions. Cook until transparent without burning the garlic. Then add chopped tomato and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimps and cook until pink. Strain the shells from the reserved liquid, and add the liquid into the pan.
- Add the squash with the mixture, lower the heat and cover to simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
- Add salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!
- For meat variation: Ground pork, chicken, or ground beef would be great.
- For Opo variation: You can substitute any type of squash or vegetables.
- For a completely vegan recipe: Omit the shrimp!
- When cutting vegetables, be sure to cut them all the same size so they cook quickly and evenly.
- Serve with steamed rice.