Filipino Food: Ginataang Alimasag

Featured , Main Dish Jul 31, 2014 No Comments

Alimasag is actually a Filipino term for blue crab. Its peculiarity makes this creature extremely unusual to eat. For the Filipinos, an alimasag has an enticing factor that cannot be fully fathomed!

Amidst the rising competition of various recipe creations and innovations around the world, Filipino recipes have also its best examples. Ginataang Alimasag (blue crab cooked in coconut milk) is definitely one of them.


If you are a tourist in the Philippines, you probably do not have any idea what ginataan means. Actually, Gata is the root word, which means coconut milk. Any food cooked with gata will turn out as ginataan. For instance, ginataang manok (chicken cooked in coconut milk) and ginataang baka (beef cooked in coconut milk) to name a few.


Cooking Ginataang Alimasag

Ginataang Alimasag has some secrets that you might be surprised once discovered — secrets that can surely boost your appetite. Here is the process of preparing this special cuisine:

1.) First, you need to gather all the ingredients needed.

  • 3 lbs blue crabs (Alimasag)
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 knob ginger, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 pcs sliced bell pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic – peeled and smashed
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
  • ½  cup of ginger – peeled and  thinly sliced
  • 6 pieces bird’s eye chili (siling mahaba)
  • 2 bunch fresh water spinach (kangkong)
  • 1 bunch fresh string beans (sitaw)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper




2.) Second, make sure you gather all the ingredients needed before proceeding. Then, start cooking:

  • In a large pot, pour three tablespoons of cooking oil over low flame.
  • Put all the smashed and peeled garlic and let it cook until it turns golden brown.Add onions and stir until it becomes soft.  Don’t forget your ginger. Allow it to cook for a minute or two.
  • At this stage, add the crabs. Place them evenly inside the pot.
  • Pour coconut milk and spread evenly. Make sure that you cover the crabs.Add the black pepper then cover your pot. Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the fish sauce after five minutes. Frequently agitate the pot to avoid scorching of coconut milk.
  • Replace the cover after the thorough agitation. Again, allow to cook for five minutes.
  • Add string beans. Remember, let it submerge in the coconut milk. Leave it to cook for 4 minutes.
  • After, add your water spinach. Again, let it submerge with the coconut milk. Leave it for 2 minutes.Taste it. If you are not satisfied, adjust the flavour by adding more fish sauce or salt.
  • Check the colour of your crab. Usuallly, it turns reddish when it cooked.
  • Before serving, add the bell peppers. Cover it for 2 minutes.

3.) Serve your Ginataang Alimasag with steamed rice. Enjoy it with your family and friends over a hot steamy conversation of everything and anything under the sun! For sure, eating this Filipino food delicacy will be an unforgettable moment for you as well as your loved ones.

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