Crab Cooked in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Alimango with Sitaw at Kalabasa)

Enjoy this delectable Filipino-style crab dish cooked in coconut milk. This easy-to-follow recipe for Ginataang Alimango with Sitaw at Kalabasa allows you to create a mouthwatering meal that combines the sweetness of crab with the creaminess of coconut milk. The addition of chili peppers, if desired, infuses some spicy kick!

Whenever I’m in the Philippines, I never fail to enjoy some delicious seafood, especially crab! After all we are an archipelago and totally surrounded by the sea!

I remember my grandmother, who was such an excellent cook, made the most delicious recipe for homemade alimango (crab) and sitaw (vegetable) recipe when I was growing up. This Filipino creamy coconut crab dish was indeed one of her specialties.

What made it even sweeter and more delicious in my opinion, is the fact that she would hand-pick the choice crab morsels for me! I didn’t have to make any effort to crack the crab because she did it all for me. All I had to do was enjoy her homemade ginataang alimango!

In honor of my grandmother I am writing this delicious crab and squash stew based on her recipe. I believe we have captured the creamy and delicious flavors of her own coconut milk and crab dish. If you are a seafood lover, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

What is Filipino Ginataang Alimango with Sitaw at Kalabasa?

Filipino Ginataang Alimango with Sitaw at Kalabasa (Crab cooked in Coconut Milk with Vegetables) is a delicious and comforting seafood dish that features crab (alimango or alimasag), long beans (sitaw), and squash (Filipino kalabasa) cooked in a flavorful coconut milk-based sauce. The dish is known for its rich and creamy texture, with the sweetness of crab complementing the coconut milk, while the vegetables add a satisfying crunch and balance to the flavors.

The addition of banana peppers or red chilis introduces a hint of spiciness, providing a well-rounded taste. Typically served over rice, this dish is a popular choice in Filipino cuisine, showcasing the country’s love for combining fresh seafood with the indulgent creaminess of coconut milk.

Why You would love this recipe for Crab in Coconut Milk

You’ll love this recipe for Crab in Coconut Milk or Ginataang Alimango with Sitaw at Kalabasa because of its irresistible combination of succulent crab, crisp vegetables, and creamy coconut milk. The sweetness of crab, the richness of coconut milk, and a hint of spiciness from peppers offer the perfect symphony of flavors that your tastebuds would love!

It’s very easy and quick to make as well. I guarantee you will enjoy this crab dish in creamy coconut sauce!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • 1 plum tomato, finely diced
  • 2.2 lbs (1 kilo) crab (alimango or alimasag)
  • 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce or to taste, see notes
  • 1 bunch long beans, cut into 3 inch-lengths (roughly 1 1/2 cups or more)
  • 1/2 Filipino Squash or butternut squash (roughly 2 cups or more)
  • 2 banana peppers or red Chili pepper, adjust the amount to the level of spiciness desired
  • 13.5 oz can coconut cream, as needed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Heat oil. Saute garlic briefly, just until aromatic then add the shallots. Saute for about 1 minute then add the diced tomato. 

Add crabs and pour in the coconut milk. Add fish sauce, to taste. Bring to a boil. Cook crab until they fully change in color. Stir and turn the crab on its side if needed to cook evenly.

Add the vegetables and the green banana pepper or red chilis. Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender,  3-5 minutes. Add just enough coconut cream to thicken the sauce slightly and allow to boil. 

Mix everything as needed to ensure even cooking. Taste and adjust seasoning with extra salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot with rice. Drizzle the sauce all over.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of crab can I use for this recipe?
You can use either alimango (mud crab), alimasag (flower crab, blue crab, or white sea crab.) or even kagang (black land crab), which are types of crabs commonly enjoyed in Filipino cuisine. These crabs are well-suited for cooking in coconut milk, providing a sweet and succulent flavor that pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce.

What is the difference between alimango and alimasag crab?
The primary difference between alimango and alimasag lies in their size and habitat. Alimango, also known as mud crab, is typically larger, inhabits brackish water areas, and has distinctive dark greenish-brown to bluish shells. On the other hand, alimasag, or blue crab, is smaller, found in saltwater environments, and has a blueish tint on its shell. While both are used in Filipino cuisine, alimango is often preferred for larger dishes, while the alimasag is favored for smaller servings and its distinct taste.

Can I use frozen crab for this recipe? Yes, you can use frozen crab if fresh crab is not readily available. Make sure to thaw it properly before cooking.

Is it essential to use Filipino squash, or can I substitute it with another type? While Filipino squash adds a distinct flavor, you can substitute it with butternut squash or any other squash variety available in your local market.

How spicy is the dish with banana peppers or red chilis? The spiciness can be adjusted according to your preference. Add more or fewer peppers based on your desired level of heat.

Can I prepare this dish in advance? You can blanch the crabs ahead if you don’t wish to use them right away. You can even freeze it first. While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the crab and vegetable mixture in advance and add coconut cream just before serving to maintain its creamy consistency.

Crab Cooked in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Alimango with Sitaw at Kalabasa)

Manila Spoon
Enjoy this delectable Filipino-style crab dish cooked in coconut milk. This easy-to-follow recipe for Ginataang Alimango with Sitaw at Kalabasa allows you to create a mouthwatering meal that combines the sweetness of crab with the creaminess of coconut milk. The addition of chili peppers, if desired, infuses some spicy kick!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino, South East Asian
Servings 6
Calories 566 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • 1 plum tomato, finely diced
  • 2.2 lbs (1 kilo) crab (alimango or alimasag)
  • 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste (see notes)
  • 1 bunch long beans, cut into 3 inch-lengths (roughly 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 piece Filipino Squash or butternut squash, roughly 2 cups or more
  • 2 banana peppers or red Chili pepper, sliced, (adjust the amount to the level of spiciness desired)
  • 13.5 oz can coconut cream, or as needed to thicken the sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil. Saute garlic briefly, just until aromatic then add the shallots. Saute for about 1 minute then add the diced tomato.
  • Add crabs and pour in the coconut milk (see notes). Add fish sauce, to taste. Bring to a boil.
  • Cook crab until they fully change in color. Stir and turn the crab on its side if needed to cook evenly.
  • Add the vegetables and the green banana pepper or red chilis. Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add just enough coconut cream to thicken the sauce slightly and allow to boil.
  • Mix everything as needed to ensure even cooking. Taste and adjust seasoning with extra salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Serve hot with rice. Drizzle the sauce all over.

Notes

Tips and Tricks
If making coconut milk from scratch follow these measurements as a guide – 1 1/3 cups unang gata (first extraction)
– 3 cups gata (second extraction)
– If doing this, use the second extraction first then add the first extraction towards the end of cooking to thicken the sauce.
Use 2 tablespoons fish sauce initially, if you prefer, and simply add an extra tablespoon with the vegetables if you think the sauce needs extra seasoning. Adjust to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 566kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 34gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 33gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 979mgPotassium: 1298mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 6978IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 137mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Alimango with Sitaw Recipe, Easy Filipino Crab Recipe, easy Ginataang Alimango recipe
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