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.


Kai said...

Delicious, and nutritious entry for Lasang Pinoy!

As far as I know, the LP25 announcement hasn't been posted yet, so LP24 is still good as going, hehe.

I know about the big thing in the Visayas and Mindanao, in Pangasinan we eat clams in a bowl, but at SuTuKil in Mactan I've eaten ONE clam that FILLED one bowl. ;-)

Thanks for joining LP24. Great entry!

Food and Field said...

Looks great!

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am certainly glad to discove this. great job!