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Upo Guisado with Pork

The classic Filipino Upo Guisado with Pork is a sauteed dish of upo (bottle gourd) with pork cubes, tomatoes, and seasonings. Simply peel the gourd, remove seeds and cut into cubes. Saute quickly. The hearty pork is a robust addition to the simplicity of the translucent, soft cubes. This is a savory vegetable dish that is best served with rice for lunch or dinner, as a main or side. This is an Asian in America recipe by Elizabeth Ann Qujirino.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Total Time42 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Vegetables
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Upo Guisado Pork
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 3kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • 1 Large Wok or Skillet - 10 to 12 inches diameter


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
  • 1 whole large tomato, chopped, about 3/4 cup
  • 500 grams pork shoulder cubes, cut about 1/2-inch sized pieces
  • 1 cup broth, vegetable or pork
  • 3 cups cubed upo (bottle gourd), cut about 1/2-inch sized pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

For serving

  • steamed rice


To prepare the upo (bottle gourd):

  • Wash the entire outer part of the upo with soap and water. Pat dry with a towel.
    Peel off the outer skin. The inner flesh will be a light green color.
    Slice the upo open, horizontally, in half. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and white spongy parts inside the cavity.
    Slice the light green flesh into 1/2-inch sized cubes. Set aside.

To saute the Upo Guisado:

  • In a large wok, or skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil.
    Saute the garlic, and onions. Pour the patis.
    Add the tomatoes. Combine with the rest of the ingredients. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes till tomatoes soften.
    Add the pork cubes. Braise the pork for 2 minutes to brown slightly.
    Pour the broth. Add the upo cubes.
    Season with salt, pepper and peppercorns.
    Cover and cook for about 12 minutes till pork is cooked, and upo turns translucent.
    Serve warm with rice.

Cook's comments:

  • If I use a large upo, often there is too much of it, and I only use half of the gourd. If there is leftover, uncooked upo, cover the entire gourd with plastic wrap, then alluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator. Use within 1 to 2 days.
    When I have leftovers of the Upo Guisado with Pork, I transform it into an Upo Omelet. Click here for the recipe.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg