Ginisang sayote is a quick and simple vegetable dish made with pear squash, shrimp, tomatoes, and oyster sauce. It’s nutritious, delicious, and budget-friendly, too. Pair it with steamed rice and grilled meat for a hearty and filling meal!
Chayote, locally known as sayote, is an edible plant from the gourd family. It’s technically a fruit but is eaten like a vegetable.
This pear-shaped squash is widely used in many cuisines, from Asia to the Americas. It’s also a popular ingredient in Filipino cooking and is prepared in various ways, such as soups or stir-fries.
One of my favorite ways to cook it is ginisang sayote. Not only is it delicious and nutritious, but it’s also easy to make and economical.
It cooks in minutes yet is full of comfort food flavors and good-for-you nutrients you’ll feel good serving the whole family. Plus, it’s low-calorie, clocking in it at less than 100 kcal per serving!
Tomatoes, onions, and garlic– the holy trinity of Filipino ginisa
Sayote– the fruit has a sticky resin that can irritate the skin. Use gloves when peeling and cutting. Or slice off the top of the sayote and rub on the cut part of the chayote in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. The transparent sap/liquid will turn into a white, foam-like consistency. This process will remove the stickiness of the squash.
Shrimp– I like to use large shrimp and chop them up to give the appearance of “plenty” but using less.
Oyster sauce– seasons the dish along with salt and pepper. Adds a touch of sweetness and umami flavor.
How to keep shrimp tender
The shrimp takes longer to cook than the sayote and it tends to get tough and rubbery by the time the latter is tender. You can keep them from overcooking in two ways.
Remove from the pan after sauteing and return back to the pan during the last 4 to 5 minutes of cook time when the sayote is just about done.
Or, use hot water like in the recipe to speed up cook time.
How to serve and store
Ginisang sayote makes a delicious and filling vegetable dish for lunch or dinner. Enjoy it on its own or pair it with steamed rice and fried fish or grilled meat.
Store leftovers in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days. This dish doesn’t freeze well as the chayote turns mushy when frozen and thawed.