Ginataang alimasag is another of our many seafood dishes cooked in coconut milk and chilies. I included long beans and calabasa to the pot I made today but other vegetables such as pechay, spinach or eggplant are also common additions. Have plenty of rice ready, folks, and forget the forks and spoons. This scrumptious crab dish is definitely best enjoyed kamayan-style. Let’s eat!
- 6 to 7 blue crabs
- water for steaming
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 thumb-size ginger peeled and julienned
- 4 to 5 Thai chili peppers
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 1 small calabasa peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
- 1 bunch long beans ends trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 1 cup coconut cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Under cold running water, wash crabs well. Scrub shells with a kitchen brush to rid of dirt and grime. In a steamer basket, arrange crabs belly side down and sprinkle with salt to taste. Place steamer basket in a pot filled with water. Over medium heat, steam crabs for about 20 to 25 minutes or until color changes to orange. Remove from heat.
- In a wide pan or skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook until limp and aromatic. Add chili peppers and cook for about 30 to 40 seconds. Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and simmer until reduced. Add calabasa and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until half-cooked. Add string beans and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add steamed crabs. Add coconut cream and stir to combine. Continue to cook, regularly spooning sauce over crabs, for about 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened and vegetables are cooked but firm. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
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