Have you ever come across a dish that you never knew existed?
Gising-gising, ever heard of the word? Aside from when your mom wakes you up in the morning from your sleep after a long tiring day, the term may also refer to a hot-steaming dish.
The Gising-gising has made its name to be one of the blockbuster whenever being served as the table. Everyone can’t get enough of its unique and delicious taste.
What is this Dish?
The dish's name means “Wake up-Wake up!”
From the looks of it, it’s too plain but is an avalanche of different flavors. A perfect blend of sweetness, saltiness, and of course, that thrilling spiciness to keep you awake!
Its main ingredients were coconut milk, winged beans, green chili, plus the usual condiments. It’s one of the easiest dishes to cook but requires more time to prepare because you’ll have to cut beans and green chili into the smallest pieces, and if you’re not fond of instant coconut milk, you can buy fresh coconut meat and squeeze until you get the right amount of coconut milk. It’s worth it, though!
It is similar to Bicol Express, but this one is cheaper in every ingredient’s cost. The most expensive one is the beans, but believe me, it’s still affordable. Thus, if you are a Bicol Express lover or dishes with coconut milk, this one is a must-try!
It’s not a strict type of food as it can be eaten alone or with hot and newly cooked rice or as a side dish.
Lastly, if there’s one dish that we can eat every day and won’t give us that guilty feeling, that must be this dish provided that it’s the basic Gising-gising without add-ons. It is too plain to make it a plate with lesser harmful effects in the long run.
The winged beans are low in calories, perfect if you’re on a diet. Also, winged beans are high in protein, and rich in healthy fats, calcium, minerals, and vitamins (especially vitamins A and C), and all kinds of sugar (some of them are healthy sugar). Then, the coconut milk provides other health benefits.
Again, it’s similar to Bicol Express, but the primary difference is that it doesn’t have pork strips. It’s creamy, spicy, and has a bit of salty taste, but if you prefer to add a little sweetness, you can add sugar.
Also, instead of pork strips, you can add sausages or ground pork for the meaty taste, but don’t overpower winged beans as it should be the most dominant ingredient, so you’ll get that natural green-like smell and taste.
As a rising star, some have also begun experimenting and creatively innovating Gising-gising recipes. Some have customized the ingredients based on their availability. A few relied on adding a unique and distinct flavor to their version and nutrition and calorie content. We have gathered a few of the many variations of the Gising-gising recipes that people have creatively enhanced and shared.
Variations of this Dish
String Beans or Sitaw
Sitaw, also known as green beans, are common ingredients in many Filipino food recipes. This vegetable variation is something you would always see in the market, or the people also usually grow it in their backyards. The traditional ingredient of the Gising-gising are winged beans or sigarilyas, but others use sitaw as an alternative if it is the more accessible option. It is also a little crunchier than the winged beans.
Filipinos call it Kangkong, which is characterized by tender shoots and was customarily consumed as a vegetable. It is marked with delicate leaves and crunchy stems. Another famous green and leafy vegetable are stamped in the food world. It perfectly blends well with any other ingredient of every dish. Some people surrogates kangkong to sigarilyas in the original Gising-gising recipe because it thrives well in most land areas. It is also being loved because of its mild and green flavor similar to that of sigarilyas.
This version is probably best served on a sizzling plate and fit when it’s hot. It doubles the exciting spice that seems to be biting your tongue. Seafood enhances every food combined with it. Who would not want that Gising-gising seafood recipe? Seafood is not just mouthwatering because of its rich taste, but it is also regarded as a large, lean, and easily digested protein source. A healthy savage indeed.
Chop Suey Version
Not just one, not only two but more kinds of vegetables. Sigarilyas is still this version’s star, but there are supporting vegetables to it - as the saying goes, “the more, the merrier.” It is a mix of different kinds of vegetables in a milky creamy and fiery spicy sauce. It tastes as good as it sounds.
Despite its being healthy, this dish still can face some taste problems. Worry not. We always find ways. Here are some samples below and the easy steps on fixing them to give you an idea of what itsy bitsy troubles we are talking about.
The creaminess of the Coconut milk can just make every dish too bland. Thus, when this happens to your Gising-Gising, simply add salt and other spices needed. There are times when some add shrimp paste or bagoong to the dish, so you can also opt to add a bit of it to adjust a pinch of saltiness.
Since this dish has lots of chilies, the tendency is it becomes too spicy. To solve this, just add more coconut milk and cook it for a few more minutes, or you can also add cream or butter to wash away the spicy capsaicin oil. As you add more liquid to the dish, always check if the taste needs to be adjusted. More likely, its saltiness has also been cut, so adjust as needed.
Because it tends to have that bland taste, some just make the mistake of adding too much salt to fish sauce, so if this happens to your dish, add more coconut milk or put a little of every ingredient in it to restore the balance. Keep in mind that liquid such as coconut milk or water is always the cue to make up for a dish’s saltiness that has exceeded the line.
Trivia About this Filipino Dish
- This dish originated from the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.
- The term “Gising-gising” is translated to the English language as “Wake Up! Wake Up!”. Living by its name, the fiery hotness and spiciness of the siling labuyo or jalapeno in the Gising-gising will surely keep you alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic.
- Sigarilsoundhe main ingredient of the traditional Gising-gising recipe, maybe eaten cooked or raw. Name it! Its roots, leaves, flowers, bean pods, and up to its seeds are all edible.
- If you track your calorie intake and want to lose weight, you might want to add Gising-gising to your diet plan because it has low-calorie content.
Tips on How to Cook Gising-Gising Recipe
Although it is a simple dish with very few ingredients, it’s not an assurance that you will have a tasteful and sound output. Thus, here are a few tips to consider to make sure you cook it right.
Coconut Milk Curdling
This cream-like coconut milk tends to curdle. Thus, make sure you simmer it gently by using low heat. Also, stir it often to keep your coconut milk from curdling.
Blandness, Saltiness, and Spiciness
To avoid these possible problems, go for the taste-then-add technique. This way, your dish will keep its flavor balance until the end of the cooking process.
Achieving that Creamy Good Taste
You sure know the answer. Never forget to add quality and thick coconut milk a few minutes before putting out the fire. This technique is the secret to giving the dish a lovely creamy sauce.
Some of the vital ingredients may not be available, you would agree with me on that. We can also use granulated or powdered onion, garlic, and powdered milk if we could not resource fresh. If bagoong is not available, we may replace it with fish sauce. We will never run out of ways. Nothing is going to keep us from being awake to alternatives.
Best Partners for This Filipino Dish
Your Gising-Gising, with its being a versatile dish that can be eaten alone or as a viand, is best partnered with the following types of food below.
Hot steamed rice
Yes, it must be hot steamed rice and not some sort of fried rice. A delectable dish like Gising-gising is best served with rice as a perfect match for its spicy and creamy sauced vegetables. The plainness of this carb is just an ideal canvas that would give equilibrium for this stew dish.
Grilled or Fried Fish Dish
Stew dishes can be completed with fried dishes. With this tandem, you can let go of the rice… or probably not? For some, this combo has just made it even better. Fish dishes are dubbed as universal partners to any vegetable dishes. You might swear by your name that this combo is undeniably terrific and incomparable.
Grilled Stuffed Bangus
A delightful surprise, grilled stuffed Bangus is always ideal to be served with vegetables, thus to our Gising-gising. We can picture how we were smothered by combining the smoky flavor of the grilled stuffed Bangus and the flattering creaminess and spiciness of it. Of course, eating it with bare hands makes it an out-and-out meal.
Liempo ( Pork Belly)
Chicharon (fried pork belly or fried pork rinds) adds texture to your whole eating experience since Gising-Gising is all about soft and creamy texture. This deeply-marinated, flavorful pork belly has a reputation and has given an enormous name to itself—definitely a crowd-pleaser.
Pork chops can be paired perfectly to the Gising-gising or any vegetable dish. These are usually cut from the pork’s loin. If you want to pair pork with the vegetable but do not want the pork belly, this is the closest next option.
Best Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is always an excellent infusion to that meaty craving. Another all-time favorite, chicken meat, may be added as the meat compound of the Gising-gising, but the Best Fried Chicken is a different story.
Plates of Seafood
Like the big ribbon in a gift, seafood plates are always something that makes a dish extra-special. There is no wonder why it is still present on the table and is eternally in demand by the people, especially during grand occasions. These sea creatures are delightful treats flashing with tidal waves of rich flavors.
The beauty of the contrast between the sweetness of the coconut milk in Gising-gising and the saltiness of the bagoong or shrimp paste gave bottomless satisfaction to our palates. Similar to another vegetable dish, the Kare-Kare also treats bagoong as its best buddy.
Gising-gising is another delightful vegetable dish to take note of. People who love eating spicy foods indeed could not resist the alluring dish. You cannot say “no” to the stimulating, perfect medley of sweetness, saltiness, spiciness, and vegetables’ the irresistible cables. Often compared to Bicol Express, both are explosively delicious in their ways. Affordable? Ascertained. Taste-wise? Approved. Healthy wise? Validated. The fiery spice is not the only distinct similarity the two dishes have. Both are also symbols and tasty proof that food is not “just a food,” but it can also be an experience, a cultural character, an art, an expression, and a lot more beyond just filling our stomach in.
For more delicious recipes, visit Eatlikepinoy.com!
Best Gising Gising Recipe
- 1 lb Green beans/Baguio beans diced, about ½ inch
- ½ lb Shrimp small
- 2 cups Coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon Fish Sauce (patis) add more depending on your preference
- 3 cloves Garlic crushed
- 1 pc Onion medium, minced
- 2 tablespoon Cooking oil
- 6 pcs Green long chilies (siling haba) diced
- 3 pcs Red chilies diced, optional
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a pan, saute garlic and onion.
- Add small shrimp. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Season with fish sauce.
- Add ground black pepper, red and green long chilies. Stir.
- Pour in coconut milk. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the coconut milk to get burned.
- Put in green beans. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes while stirring gradually.
- Serve with steamed rice. Share and enjoy!