Giniling with Alugbati at Kalabasa

Giniling Kalabasa at Alugbati is a simple Filipino vegetable soup dish prepared with minced pork, alugbati (Malabar spinach) and buttercup squash. It’s simple, delicious, nutritious and affordable, this is what a dinner should be!

In your home country what does the typical daily meal look like? It’s interesting to see this right? It sort of defines a major part of the country’s cuisine and it definitely shows a lot of the regions culture and tradition. But don’t confuse typical with traditional dishes as the two are very different. Traditional refers to culinary customs that are inherited, typically within in the family, in a community or even a small region as part of its culture and identity. Typical on the other hand is one that most people in a place like to eat and is massively prepared and replicated. This means, a traditional dish may be typical and vice versa, but not all of the typical dishes are traditional and not all the traditional ones are typical. Confusing? Let me give you an example. In America a typical dish can be a burger but a traditional one can be a Rocky Mountain Oysters. In the Philippines a typical dish can be Chicken Adobo but a traditional one can be the Tausug’s Tiyula itum Now, does that makes sense.

Most traditional dishes originated at home with the skills of the home chef whether it is the housewife or the husband who creatively combines ingredients with different techniques to create new recipes. On the other hand, most, typical recipes are made to be prepared easily and affordable as this has more reach and its likeability factor is high, they are also simpler than traditional food most of the times.

In Philippines where I grew up the usual fare are vegetables and if you have the extra budget then an additional fried fish or pork are also served on the side. In New Zealand the usual dinner food here is a piece of pan-fried meat which can be beef, pork or chicken where it is served with steamed vegetables, sometime family pie or sausage and mash. In your home country how does it look like?

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Giniling with Alugbati at Kalabasa

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Giniling Kalabasa at Alugbati is a simple Filipino vegetable soup dish prepared with minced pork, alugbati (Malabar spinach) and buttercup squash.


Units Scale
  • 350 g minced pork 25% fat
  • 500 g buttercup squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 bunch Malabar spinach (alugbati) or large leaf spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly
  • fish sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil


  1. In a wok add oil then sauté garlic and onions.
  2. Add the minced pork then cook until golden brown in colour.
  3. Add the squash, stir then cook for 2 minutes
  4. Pour the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer in low heat for 10 minutes then add the spinach cook for 2 more minutes.
  5. Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper then serve.


7 Responses

  1. This is a beautiful soup! I love the flavour and colour here.

  2. Sounds really flavorful and so simple!

  3. suituapui says:

    Looks good, love the colours! Can’t go wrong with pumpkin, will add that special sweetness to the soup.

  4. Hannah says:

    Clean and simple; I love that approach. This sounds so wonderfully comforting for fall.

  5. You make an interesting comparison between typical and traditional – it makes perfect sense! For us, soups are a typical meal for lunch (and sometimes dinner) during the cold winter months. I’m always looking for new soup ideas, and this one sounds fantastic!

  6. Love the colors in this — SO attractive. Bet the flavor is out of this world. Neat dish — thanks.

  7. Believe it or not, but I’ve just thought today about making chunky soup with pumpkin (Because it’s been mostly pureed pumpkin soups for a long time.) And here we go – such an awesome and hearty idea!

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