How to Make Pugita With Upo (Octopus With Calabash)

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.

How to make pugita with upo (octopus with calabash).

How to make pugita with upo (octopus with calabash).

Upo is the Tagalog or Filipino word for calabash, also called bottle gourd or white-flowered gourd. It grows on a vine, and it is commonly sold in Filipino marketplaces. Pugita is the Tagalog word for octopus.

Let me share with you my simple yet delicious and healthy octopus recipe. It is can be served as a seafood-vegetable main dish.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

4 servings


  • 250 grams octopus, sliced
  • 1 medium calabash (bottle gourd), sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 small head garlic, peeled
  • 4 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water, as needed
  • cooking oil


For Preparation:

  • 2 medium bowls
  • 1 big bowl
  • chopping board
  • knife

For Cooking:

  • cooking spoon
  • pan


  1. In a pan, saute onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes.
  2. Add water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add the octopus. Cover the pan. Cook until almost tender.
The completed octopus with bottle gourd recipe.

The completed octopus with bottle gourd recipe.

Tips and Techniques

  • You can cook the octopus faster by using a pressure cooker.
  • Add any preferred seasonings.
  • Adjust the amount of water if needed.
  • The bigger the octopus, the more time it needs to cook.
  • To lessen the cooking time, allow the water to come to a boil first.

© 2019 Travel Chef


Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on March 21, 2019:

Hello, Dred cuan, cooking for 30 minutes seems best. However, I agreed with you that the longer time period seems to bring out more flavors and tastes. But are we brewing tea or coffee cooking foods? The answer is no. During the 30 minutes time, the food retained its essential nutrients like vitamin and mineral salts, or the end result is sickness and disease.

Travel Chef (author) from Manila on March 21, 2019:

Hi Miebakagh,

Thank you for dropping by! I like this dish because of its a combination of seafood and vegetable which make it healthier for me. Regarding the 30 minutes rule, I am not really sure about that fact. Though I must admit that some of our food items need to be cooked longer than 30 minutes to make it tastier and edible.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on March 20, 2019:

Hey, Dred cuam, thanks for sharing another nice and delicious meal. The imports of this diet, including all the others is the time. It did not surpass 30 minutes which is most essential for a meal to retain most of its nutrients, especially vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements, and so on. You're a very good cook. Have a great day.

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