I’m a huge fan of fresh vegetable pairings, simple ingredients and quick stir-frying. Overcooking vegetables will lose their nutritional content which is why this recipe focuses on the natural flavors of fresh ingredients. The crispness of the calabasa is a great pairing with the tender green beans. Flavors pop with salty fish sauce, lots of garlic and pinches of hot chili flakes.

Serves 4

1 1/3 pounds calabasa (butternut squash) (buy the pre-cut version)
1/2 pound green beans, rinsed and stems trimmed off
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
14 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground red chili peppers (optional)
1 1/4 tablespoons fish sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Remove any seeds from the calabasa and carefully trim off the skin. Then using a melon baller, scoop little balls from the flesh of the calabasa and set aside in a large bowl. Alternatively, use a knife to chop the calabasa into bite-sized chunks.

Cut the trimmed green beans into 1/2 inch long diagonal slices. Set aside with the calabasa.
In a wok, heat the oil on high heat. Sauté the garlic and red chili peppers in the oil for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly golden. Add the calabasa and green beans; stir-fry until well mixed. Add the fish sauce and black pepper. Toss together for another 2 to 3 minutes until the calabasa is crisp but fork tender. Serve immediately.