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How to Make Kalabasa Flower (Squash Blossom) Salad

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.

Learn how to make kalabasa flower salad

Learn how to make kalabasa flower salad

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.

In Tagalog, kalabasa refers to 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.


  • 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

Tips and Techniques

  • 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.
  • Make sure to blanch the kalabasa flowers quickly to avoid overcooking.
  • Submerge the blanched vegetables in an ice bath (bowl of water with ice cubes) to stop the cooking process.
  • Serve this salad as a side dish or a vegetable main dish.

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