Vegetable Soup with Coconut Milk (Sinabawang Gulay Recipe)

This healthy native vegetable dish is made of varieties of vegetables and coconut milk. You can even add chili peppers to add a spicy taste to the stew.

Vegetable Soup with Coconut Milk (Sinabawang Gulay Recipe)
Healthy Stew Savory Vegetarian

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Origin of the dish

Sinabawang Gulay which simply means vegetable soup in English, is a Filipino vegetable soup made with variety of vegetables and most especially, the moringa leaves. This healthy dish is known anywhere in the Philippines under a wide variety of names. It is commonly called “utan” in the Visayas Island and Mindanao; and “laswa” in Western Visayas.

The primary ingredients of Sinabawang Utan are moringa leaves, squash, ginger, eggplant, okra or commonly known as Ladies’ Fingers in English, string beans, chili peppers and seasoned with salt. It can be made more special and creamier when added with coconut milk. This recipe uses a lot of vegetables, so it's good source of nutrients.

When is it typically served?

Sinabawang Gulay is typically eaten by Filipino families during lunch and dinner because of its healthy soup best paired with rice that will surely satisfy a big man’s appetite. It is served as main course for mostly Filipinos and some pair this dish with rice while some just enjoy it alone.

Kitchen Utensils You Will Need

Cooking this nutritious vegetable soup does not require much experience. This is a beginner friendly recipe and all you need in order to cook this dish are the following:

  • Cooking pot
  • Chopping board to cut the vegetables
  • Mixing spoon
  • Bowl
  • Serving bowl
  • Chopping knife

Primary Ingredients for Vegetable Soup – Variety of Vegetables.

Sinabawang gulay is primarily made of variety of vegetables both vegetable fruits and vegetable leaves. Because it is boiled and simmered, it extracts the vegetables flavors and nutrients which make its soup very healthy and nutritious.

Now let’s talk more about veggies. Originally, plants are grown locally but as new agricultural way of life developed, trade brought exotic crops from elsewhere to add domestic types. Nowadays, vegetables are grown all over the world as climate allows. China is the largest vegetable producer in the whole world and because of global trade in agricultural products consumers are now able to purchase imported vegetables from other countries. We can all agree that vegetables play an important role to a healthy body since most of them are low in fat and calories. They are mostly the source of essentials vitamins our body needs such as the antioxidant vitamins, A, C and E. Vegetables are commonly eaten raw by some people most specially the leafy ones. However, hygiene is important when handling foods, may it be eaten raw or cooked to avoid contamination that can cause health problems.

Interesting Facts

For you to know!

  • The only vegetable that is never sold frozen, canned or processed or any other form other than fresh is lettuce.
  • Although used in culinary world as a vegetable, tomato is actually a fruit.
  • If we just eat vegetables and fruits for a while, eventually our cravings for junk foods will dissipate.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips you might find helpful to cook a perfect Sinabawang Gulay:

  • You can add the leftover fish from your breakfast to your vegetable soup to add flavor and taste to your soup.
  • If you do not have ginger available, you can use lemongrass as an alternative to give your soup a mouth-watering aroma.


  • 250g squash, cut in cubes.
  • 1 pc large egg plants chopped.
  • 3 pcs okra chopped.
  • 4 string beans, cut into 2 inches long.
  • 1 cup malunggay leaves
  • 4 pcs green chili peppers
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • ginger
  • salt to taste


  1. In a deep saucepan, add 5 cups of water, squash, eggplant, string beans and okra. Cover and bring to a boil until the vegetables are half cooked.

  2. Lower the heat and add the chili pepper and malunggay leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the coconut milk and season with salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

  4. Best served with rice and dried fish. Enjoy!

    Vegetable Soup with Coconut Milk (Sinabawang Gulay Recipe)

So much with proteins on your table like pork and chicken as your main course, you should not neglect this undoubtedly healthy dish. This is a favorite mostly by our elders, and we should encourage our kids to enjoy this dish as well.

Indeed, this is a humble native dish that can be available wherever you are, or whatever country you are from. This is a must try! It is inexpensive and its ingredients are very much accessible.