I was surprised to note that I had never posted a recipe for guinataang alimasag on the blog before… So based on reader requests, here it is. Actually, this version has both crabs and shrimp, plus ample veggies, so it’s a whole meal in one dish… with lots of rice on the side, of course.
I started with 1.5 kilos of fresh blue crabs or alimasag. Wash them and remove their underflap, and cut into two pieces. In a large pan, add a little vegetable oil, saute slices of ginger, some chopped onion and smashed garlic until fragrant and the onions slightly translucent. Add about 1 kilo worth of freshly squeezed coconut milk/cream and bring to a simmer. Add some cubed kalabasa or kabocha squash, some patis or fish sauce to taste, and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Add some sliced mild chilies (siling mahaba) and some bird’s eye chilies if you desire more spice.
Add the crabs, cover and steam until crabs are just done. Stir carefully so as not to mash up all the squash. Add some salt and more fish sauce if necessary. Lots of cracked black pepper as well… Slip some nice shrimp or prawns into the pot about 4-5 minutes before taking it off the flames. I added another half kilo of coconut cream towards the end of cooking, which made this a particularly rich version… Taste the sauce often, as the crabs can vary in saltiness, and you may need to add seasoning.
I like to throw in a few squash flowers for variety and interest and texture in the final dish. This didn’t take more than 15-20 minutes to make. And it was really delicious. I am so not getting this “you must eat seafood during lent as a sacrifice thing”… You need lots of rice to mix with the sweet, rich, spicy and savory sauce. Perfect meal to eat with one’s hands, kamayan or kinamot style. :)
The crabs with coconut cream served in a fish platter. Happy eating! :)