Mar 15, 2008

Ginataang Alimango (Crabs in Coconut Milk)

Tong-tong-tong, pakitong-kitong, alimango, sa dagat, kaylaki at kay-sarap...

I was doing this song while cooking this dish and my son goes, "Mommy, ano 'yung alimango?"
I explained while digesting the fact that it's true there are always two sides to a coin. While using English as a medium of instruction has its advantages, there are downsides too. In the course of our tutorials my sons have asked for definitions of namumuno, sentenaryo, takwil and some more common words I forget at this time.

Anyway, back to the Alimango.

My husband, a Cebuano at heart who hails from the still-fertile lands of Mindanao is used to big things. Big bananas a foot long, bigger-variety fish (lapu-lapu, labahita, maya-maya, tanigue), lanzones that get to be 3 inches in diameter (I'll post a picture later) -- even atis that's the size of a child's head. And so, even for crabs he'd go for alimango instead of alimasag, and even then he'd go for the big alimango. (The plate that crab is sitting on is 12 inches wide, the crab about 9 inches wide.) When he saw these big, live crabs at South Supermarket he wasn't able to resist, bought them and presented me with the task of cooking them.

I decided to make ginataan and throw in malunggay leaves for good measure. :)

GINATAANG ALIMANGO (Crabs in Coconut Milk)

What's In It?

2 kgs. Crabs, cleaned
3-4 cups water + 1 tablespoon salt (for steaming crabs)
5-7 cups coconut milk (instant/canned/freshly squeezed)
half a head (about 5 cloves) garlic, peeled and mashed
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
3-4 cups malunggay leaves -- see notes
1 teaspoon iodized salt
3-4 siling labuyo (finger chilis), optional

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a large pot or wok pour saline water, line crabs, cover and steam for 5 to 7 minutes or until the crabs turn dark orange.

Meanwhile, in another wok or pot heat coconut milk over medium fire, stirring constantly until it boils. Add in garlic, onions, salt and siling labuyo. Continue stirring while simmering the mixture for 2 more minutes.

Add in cooked crabs and let the milk simmer until thick. Add in malunggay leaves. Let the mixture boil for a minute more or just about when the leaves turn a little dark green. (Malunggay turns bitter when overcooked.) Remove from fire and serve. Best with steamed rice.

1. Substitutes for alimango: Alimasag, talangka, crab sticks, frozen crab claws, shrimps
2. Instead of malunggay, you can also use kalabasa (squash) and/or sitaw (string beans).
3. For instant gata, follow package directions for making thin coconut milk.
4. Did you know, malunggay is known as Sajina in the Indian subcontinent, and Moringa in English?


Sigh. If I had read the announcement any earlier, this would have been my entry to the February challenge/ 24th edition of Lasang Pinoy, titled Loco Over Coco. . :(

My previous posts that also involved Coconuts:
1. Buko Tarts
2. Laing
3. Ginataang Santol
4. Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw
5. Sinuglaw na Bariles

UPDATE: I did get in afterall! Yay! (Thanks, Kai!) Hop on over here to see the rest of entries to Lasang Pinoy 24, all about coconuts.

Mar 14, 2008

I Miss...

... coffee. One of the last fancy cups I had was in Bellevue, last year. I turned tea-drinker then got pregnant after.

Mar 11, 2008

Soy Chicken

[For yet another time I wake up and find I can no longer go back to sleep. (Well, not right away at least.) So here I am tweaking away at my posts.]

If the picture above loooks familiar, it'd be because you have really seen it before, in my post titled 'One Beginning, Three Endings,' where I present a recipe that starts with a simple saute and finishes into Mock Chicken Pastel, Chicken Afritada and this, Soy Chicken with Mushrooms.

I figured the post was rather long (having 3 mini-recipes) and wasn't indexed properly, so I am reposting the three recipes individually, with the original starter chicken saute scaled down.


What's In It?

1/2 kgs chicken breast, chopped into small portions
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T fish sauce
1/2 t ground pepper
3 T c cooking oil
1/4 c soy sauce
1 c hot water
1 small can button mushrooms (pieces and stems)
3-4 stalks green onion, minced, for garnish

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat wok or frying pan, add in cooking oil, then saute garlic and onions for one minute or until onions are soft.

Add in chicken, fish sauce and ground black pepper. Stir fry for 1 minute or until chicken loses its pink tint, then cover and simmer for 2 minutes to allow the chicken to sweat out its juice.

Pour in the soy sauce and hot water, let boil then simmer for 3 minutes more. Stir in mushrooms and cook for another minute. Check seasonings and adjust if needed. Transfer onto a serving plate and garnish with spring onions.


Note: You can substitute young corn, broccoli, or shiitake mushrooms for the button mushrooms.

Mar 8, 2008

Inihaw na Porkchop

With cool and windy days about us it's easy to forget that it's already March and that Summer is about to pop in with customary heat and swelter by the Holy Week.

For most Catholics the Holy Week is observed with fasting and abstinence from meat, so this post seems anti-thematic. But wait, I'm not really going to talk about what we have for Holy Week, but more of how we welcome summer.

We welcome summer with grills and barbecues, eat-outs and smokes, apart from trips to the beach and lakeside picnics. My nieces usually spend the summer with us, so I have a full house and it seems like a children's party every single day. (Yep, 4 kids can be a party. Ask any mom.)

These pictures were taken in 2005, in our old house. Mama (my grandmother) was home from NZ then and we had a blast having a kamayan, dahon ng saging lunchout at the garage. Do you notice Mike's head peering out of the margins of the picture? He was grill manager that day and rushed to make it from the grill to the frame just as I pressed the shutter button. :)

It'll be a li'l different this summer; for one Mama won't be home and would be in NZ recuperating from surgery (awww.... we miss you, Ma) and there'd be a new kid on the block, Mika. But I suppose the grilling stays. I will always be a BBQ girl at heart. :)


What's In It?

1 kg. pork chops (about 8 thick cuts, bone-in)

1 cup soy sauce (Datu Puti is for me, the best)
juice of 7 calamansi*
1/2 cup brown/washed sugar*
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bulb red onion, peeled and sliced
1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed

Kitchen Conjugations:

Thaw and wash porkchops, drain. In a medium plastic mixing bowl combine soy sauce, calamansi juice, sugar, garlic, onions and black pepper together. Add in pork chops, stir and turn so that all slices are covered by the marinade. Leave for 30 minutes to one hour.

Grill porkchops over medium high heat until done (the meat should lose pinkish tint but should still be tender and juicy). Serve with your favorite sawsawan (dipping sauce). Ours is soy sauce with onion and tomato slices and a squeeze of calamansi.

Have a great summer!



1. Pineapple juice may be substituted in the absence of calamansi. Some people put a little vinegar but I find that the acid 'cooks' and hardens the meat.

2. Washed sugar is colored light brown; brown sugar is darker. You can this if you are watching your sugar intake or do not like sweet ulam.