How to Make Kalabasa Flower (Squash Blossom) Salad

Updated on January 15, 2020
dredcuan profile image

I am a chef on a luxury world cruise liner. I love to cook and write recipes that are inspired by foods from all over the world.

The finished kalabasa flower salad.
The finished kalabasa flower salad. | Source

Kalabasa flowers, or squash blossoms, are the main ingredient in a popular salad that comes from certain regions of the Philippines. I usually have the chance to taste this kind of salad every time I visit Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The term kalabasa is the Tagalog word for squash. This flower is one of the edible flowers from the gourd family, and it is often added to vegetable dishes.

When I make kalabasa flower salad, I like to add bagoong, or fermented anchovy sauce. This adds exciting flavors to the dish. When you make this recipe, you should feel free to adjust the amount of any of the ingredients to match your preferences.

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The ingredients: kalabasa blossom.Additional ingredients.The bagoong.
The ingredients: kalabasa blossom.
The ingredients: kalabasa blossom. | Source
Additional ingredients.
Additional ingredients. | Source
The bagoong.
The bagoong. | Source


  • 50 pieces kalabasa flowers
  • 4 small stalks spring onion, chopped
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons bagoong
  • Water, for blanching
  • Pinch salt
  • Water, for ice bath
  • Ice cubes, for ice bath


For Preparation:

  • bowl
  • chopping board
  • knife
  • spoon

For Cooking:

  • stock pot
  • strainer
  • bowl


  1. Clean the kalabasa flowers by detaching the flower from the stalk. Discard the inner part of the flower. Wash each piece.
  2. Boil water in a stockpot. Add a small amount of salt. First blanch the stems, followed immediately by the flowers. Cook for less than 1 minute.
  3. While cooking, prepare a bowl with water and ice cubes.
  4. Once cooked, immediately remove the stems and flowers from the boiling water and submerge them in the ice bath.
  5. Allow it to cool a little bit before draining the water.
  6. Assemble the salad by adding all the ingredients into a bowl.
The colorful squash blossom salad.
The colorful squash blossom salad. | Source

Tips and Techniques

  • Submerge blanched vegetables in an ice bath (bowl of water with ice cubes) to stop the cooking process.
  • Add salt to the boiling water to give an initial flavor to the blanched vegetables.
  • Bring water to boil first before adding the vegetables to lessen the cooking time.
  • Serve the kalabasa flower salad as a side dish or a vegetable main dish.

© 2019 Travel Chef


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    • dredcuan profile imageAUTHOR

      Travel Chef 

      18 months ago from Manila

      Hi Liz,

      You may try it with other edible flowers in UK. We usually make salads onboard for our specialty restaurants using the variations of edible flowers. Then for the bagoong, you may check out any Asian store in there.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      18 months ago from UK

      This looks like a great idea for a salad. I am always keen to find salad variations, but I think I would struggle to get some of these ingredients in the UK.


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