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Ginataang Alimasag (Crabs in Coconut Milk)

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Ginataang Alimasag (Crabs in Coconut Milk)



Ingredients :

  • 2 whole Dungeness crabs
  • ½ cup garlic oil
  • ½ cup sliced garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced ginger rounds
  • with skin on
  • ½ cup bias-sliced scallions
  • whites only
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 (8.75 ounce) jar sauteed shrimp paste (such as Kamayan)
  • 5 Thai chiles
  • sliced into thin rings
  • 1 ½ quarts coconut milk
  • ½ quart water
  • or more as needed
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • ½ cup bias-sliced scallions
  • greens only
  • Methods :

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop crabs in and cook until shells turn bright red, 8 to 10 minutes. Plunge crabs into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a large wok over medium-high heat and add garlic oil. Stir in garlic and cook until lightly toasted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and ginger and saute until onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add scallion whites. Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Add fish sauce and let infuse for 1 minute. Stir in shrimp paste and toast for about 3 minutes. Add Thai chiles; saute for 1 minute more. Pour in coconut milk and water. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes, adding more water if too dry.
  • Meanwhile, break open the crab. Add to the sauce along with any accumulated juices. Simmer until flavors meld, 8 to 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in spinach and let wilt. Garnish with scallion greens.
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