One of the most reassuring things about Filipino comfort food is that it reminds you of home. When I cooked this Gising-Gising with Sitaw – Long Green Beans, I was reminded of my childhood in Tarlac, Philippines. Sitaw (long green beans) were one of the first vegetables I learned to prepare when I was tall enough to reach the kitchen counter. It was one of the many vegetables my father grew in our yard. Before I was allowed to use a knife in the kitchen, I knew how to snap off the edges of the long beans with my fingers. I felt very important to be given that task by my mother.
So, recently, here on the east coast, there was a shoutout to join the virtual recipe-illustrating workshop by author Malaka Gharib. I immediately thought of contributing my Gising-Gising with Sitaw recipe. At no other time has it been more important to cling to the familiar than now, during the Covid-19 crisis. For Filipinos, we turn to the foods that bring us solace, because these are the dishes that remind us of good times – which we are hopeful will return soon when this pandemic is over.
Gising-Gising is Pilipino which translates to ‘wake up-wake up’ . And rightfully so, this vegetable-pork entrée wakes up your senses with its fiery, spicy flavors from the siling labuyo (bird’s eye chilies) infused in the creamy coconut milk sauce base. This is a forgiving dish to cook. You can substitute green beans if you don’t have sitaw. And you can use ground beef if you prefer it over pork. The important thing is that this easy dish doesn’t need overthinking. When our anxieties are heightened by the non-stop news on the coronavirus, we want to tune out, and find hope and inspiration in other things that give us much-needed joy – just like this recipe-illustration workshop did for me. Some 75 Filipinos from all over the world got together virtually via a Zoom conference, hosted by The Digital Sala. We illustrated our favorite comfort food Filipino recipes. We were each assigned a pen pal, to share our recipe card with. Mine is in the mail for my pen pal, as you read this. I hope that when she gets it, she finds my recipe as heartwarming as a hug from a friend.
Check out more recipe postcards from our workshop in this article Filipinos Around The World Draw Their Pandemic Comfort Recipes by Malaka Gharib on Medium.com.
Gising-Gising with Sitaw - Long Green Beans
- Large skillet or wok : 12 to 14 inches in diameter
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 whole onion chopped
- 1 knob (1-inch piece) fresh ginger peeled, sliced thin
- 1 ½ cups ground pork
- 1 Tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
- ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 500 grams sitaw (long green beans) edges trimmed; sliced into 2-inch in length pieces
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 whole siling labuyo (bird's eye chilies) sliced (Note: Do not rub eyes or face after handling chilies. Wash hands right away).
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
- steamed rice
- In a large skillet or wok, add the vegetable oil, on medium-high heat. Saute the garlic, onions and ginger for 1 to 2 minutes.Add the ground pork. Pour the patis over the pork. Blend well.Pour the broth into the skillet together with the other ingredients.
- After about 5 minutes, when the pork turns from pink to brown, add the sliced sitaw (long green beans). Mix ingredients together.Pour the coconut milk. Add the sliced siling labuyo (bird's eye chilies). Mix well.Lower the heat to a simmer. If the heat is too high, the coconut milk may curdle.Season with salt and black pepper. Continue cooking for 5 to 6 minutes more till vegetables are soft and the pork is cooked completely.Serve warm with rice.
- Substitute the sitaw with green beans or 'haricort verts' if long green beans are not available. You can also use ground beef or a mixture of both beef and pork if preferred.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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