Ginataang alimango is one of the heartiest meals I know. It satisfies the soul like a warm hug on a cold stormy night. Well, that’s if you are not allergic to crab like my husband. But this is his favorite recipe to date. He just takes one Cetirizine an hour to 30 minutes before eating and it’s all good. Here’s my own recipe for this dish.
1 kg alimango
1 liter Sprite
2 cups kakang gata or rich coconut cream
1 tbsp onions chopped
1 tbsp garlic minced
1 tbsp ginger chopped
1 cup squash cubed and unpeeled
1 cup malunggay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 pcs sili espada
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of brown sugar
1. First step is to put your alimango in a pot and add in a liter of Sprite. The sprite should be just enough to cover your crabs in half. The fresher your crabs, the better. Which means, live ones are much preferred as they are much sweeter when cooked. You’ll know when they are cooked when they stop moving and they turn orange.
2. When the crabs are done, set them aside.
3. Saute the onions, garlic and ginger.
4. Add in 1 cup of the kakang gata or coconut cream. Let it boil a little.
5. Cut the crabs into two and put them in the slightly boiling kakang gata. You may remove the pincers and add them also for more flavor.
6. After 2-3 minutes, add the squash. It is best to not peel the squash because if peeled, it will be turn into a baby food consistency. Add the turmeric powder and sili espada. Sili espada is also called siling mahaba.
7. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dash of brown sugar to bring out an umami flavor. I used to add vetsin for more flavor. But I found out that brown sugar gives the same umami flavor as vetsin.
8. One misconception about gata or coconut cream is that it makes the food spoil easier. I noticed that when you cook the gata to a certain consistency, the dish lasts for days. The way to do it is to just cook it long enough for oil to come out.
9. Once the gata turns a little oily, add in the malunggay leaves. Mix it well and turn off the heat. malunggay doesn’t need to cook very long since it tends to turn bitter when overcooked.
10. Serve hot with rice. And like my husband, coke. Ice cold Coca Cola.