myFresha-licious: Sauteed Sardines with Bottle Gourd

Sauteed Sardines with Bottle Gourd

I’m going back to the Philippines tonight for the holy week.  My flight will be in a few hours (12 midnight)  It’s Frederick’s birthday tomorrow, so I’m just in time 🙂  Anyway, what I’m posting was my dinner today.  Something easy to cook and always have on stock in the cupboard.  I’m talking about canned sardines and some vegetables that usually find their way in the kitchen.
As a college student who is always living on a budget, I have to learned even a little ingenuity to stretch my limited allowance specially when it comes to my daily food needs.  
Food is the most important need to satisfy before “a-place-to-sleep”.  Edibility is the key and the very first thing to consider when we talk about food.  All the ingredients to be used can be eaten without causing any immediate trouble / or risk to me like food poisoning. The second to consider is affordability.  Do I have the money to buy the ingredients or will I starve for the rest of the days until my next allowance if I spend on them?  Fillingness of food is one thing.  I have to eat something that will get me through my next meal.  As I have said, I have a limited budget and I can’t afford buying snacks in between meals unless they are like 50 centavos.
Nutrition is usually taken aside when I chose food during those days; I may have the right to eat a nutritious food but my meager monthly allowance sometimes deprives me  of such privilege.
Most of the time, I eat lunch at any “lutong bahay” around UP.  People who are living in apartments inside the UP-Diliman campus converts their living rooms into dining area and serve UP students and other residents with budget meals; those were what we call “lutong bahay” during my UP days.  During my time, a budget meal ranges from P 15, for a rice and a vegetable dish, to P 25, for a rice, a veggie dish and a meat dish.  For supper and breakfast, I have them at our apartment ( I shared an apartment with my friends and cousin) and so I do cook.
During those days when I need to cook, I always chose something that was within my criteria and something that was easy and fast.  One of those “budget-dish” I cooked is sardines mixed with any cheap vegetables available at the palengke (wet market).  

I just miss those days and this dish brought back those memories.  Here’s a poor student’s survival dish 🙂


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Canned Sardines (Ligo brand, hot) – 1 tall can
Bottle Gourd (upo), sliced into small cubes1 medium size
Garlic, coarsely chopped – 3 large cloves
Onion, diced – 1 medium
Vegetable oil – 2 tsp
Salt & Pepper to taste
Water – 1 to 2 cups depending on how soupy you want your dish to be

Frederick’s “sardinas”  dishes is usually not soupy but very saucy.  The sauce most of the time is  a bit thick similar to this recipe ðŸ™‚  Most of the time, however, I wanted my “sardinad” with vegetable dish to be soupy.

Cooking Procedure:
1.     Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté the garlic until it is aromatic and almost turned brown.  Add in the onions and let it cook until it wilts.
2.     Stir in the sardines from the can.  You can either mash the fishes or just cut them into the number of pieces you desire. Bring to a simmer
3.     Add Water and the bottle gourd and season it with salt and ground pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Cook the bottle gourd until its soft.

 © Fresha-licious (04April2012)