Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from grated coconut milk. The unique rich taste of coconut milk is one of the best and healthy ingredients you can use. Coconut milk which is rich in vitamins and minerals has many benefits such as helping to lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks and strokes. It is also lactose free and can be used as a milk substitute by those who are lactose intolerant. You can even use it when making ice cream and other recipes requiring milk.
Cooking seafood in coconut milk is common in Philippines. We have Ginataang Hipon or (shrimp in coconut milk), Sinanglay na Tilapia (wrapped tilapia in coconut milk) and many other dishes, but for now I will give you my version of Ginataang Alimasag (crab in coconut milk). This is one of our family’s all-time favorite dishes. My uncle, a fisherman always comes home with lots of seafood, specially fish and crabs, so we always cook Ginataang Alimasag.
In the tropical province of Bohol especially in our district we have lots of coconut trees, so we have no problem in getting fresh coconut milk for free, but you can use canned or frozen coconut milk from the Asian markets if you don’t have fresh coconut milk or you just don’t feel like grating and squeezing coconut meat to get the milk.
This is my version of Ginataang Alimasag or Crab in Coconut Milk. You will definitely love it!
7-8 pcs. blue crabs
1 tbsp. oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb size ginger
5-6 thai chili peppers
4 cups coconut milk, you can use canned or frozen coconut milk
5-7 cups water for steaming
1 pc. onion chopped
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 small squash
1 bunch Green Beans cut into 3-inch lengths
1 cup coconut cream (Available in Asian Markets)
1 tbsp. pepper
salt to taste
Wash the crabs very well to get rid of dirt and grime.
Arrange crabs belly side down in a steamer basket. Salt to taste.
Place steamer basket in a pot of water.
Cover pot and steam over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until shell turns bright orange. Remove from heat.
In a wide pan or wok over medium heat cook garlic, onions and ginger until limp and aromatic.
Add the chili peppers and cook for 35 to 45 seconds.
Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and simmer until reduced.
Add the squash and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until half-cooked.
Add the string beans and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the steamed crabs and coconut cream. Stir to combine.
Continue to cook, regularly spooning sauce over crabs, for about 9 to 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened and vegetables are cooked but firm.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and Enjoy!!!