Upo is how we call Long Squash in the Philippines. It is also known as bottle gourd/bottle squash. You can also find it in Italian market and are called cucuzza. It is a vegetable from the gourd family and I believe it can be grown easily because I remember our neighbors will plant them and once it has matured it will be sold or at least offered to us. Upo or long squash is pale green in color with white flesh.
Do you know it can grow really long at least 2 feet, but what I usually see here are less than a foot long and it does not taste the same. Maybe because they are of another variety. So I stopped buying them until one time I saw it kind of look the same I mean somewhat similar to what we have in the Philippines but the length just was not the same. It says Indian Long Squash; of course I got to try it to see if at least it will come close because I really missed cooking Ginisang Upo at Baka (Sautéed Long Squash with Beef). At last, that long wait is over because it tastes just how it was back home! Now, I can enjoy it whenever I crave for Upo.When you buy it in the market, look for firm, heavy, unblemished and smooth long squash. When harvested young; the flesh is tender and has that mild, sweet and delicious taste. It can be cooked with your favorite meat. I have seen it cooked with ground pork, ground beef, or you can shrimp too. We also cook it with dried fish during Lent.
- 1 Long Squash peeled, cut diagonally
- 1 lb beef short ribs cut into strips
- 4-5 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 medium tomato sliced
- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 3-4 cups water
- salt or fish sauce to taste
- Heat canola oil, in a large skillet/pot over medium heat.
- Sauté garlic first till medium golden brown, then add onion and tomato. Cook till translucent.
- Add the beef and stir occasionally till it is brown on all sides about 3-5 minutes.
- Add water, cover and let it boil. Simmer on low heat till meat is tender (30-45 minutes depending on the beef).
- Add the long squash, cook for about 5 to 10 minutes or till it is tender. Do not overcook!
- Add salt or fish sauce to taste.
- Serve hot and enjoy.
I used beef short ribs and they are great slow-cooked or braised.