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Ginataang Alimasag (Crab With Coconut Milk)

Ginataang Alimasag is a Filipino Crab dish, made by cooking fresh crabs in creamy sauce made with coconut milk, butter, garlic, onion, ginger, crab fat, oyster sauce, vinegar, sugar and salt. This dish (Crabs in coconut milk recipe) is originated from Batanes and now one of the popular crab dish in Philippines. Try this simple Ginataang Alimasag (or alimango) in your home, that has a deliciously creamy and spicy take.

Ginataang Alimasag

What are crabs to the Philippines?

In the Philippines, we usually only find crab on special occasions like fiestas, birthdays, holidays like Christmas, New Years, on request, anniversaries, and other more special event in your life. These crustaceans are rarely cheap and you’ll usually find a fairer priced crab or seafood with markets near the sea. These deliciously fresh tasting crabs are eaten at restaurants or made right a home where it’s prepped by thoroughly cleaning the shell, legs, taking out some parts, simmered or sautéed till the color turns into an attractive orange-red signifying that the insides have cooked and is ready to be cut to pieces and sipped into the prepared sauces or eaten as is to appreciate the soft white meat.

There are a number of crabs found in the Philippines. Some found seasonally, many buying it before the holidays to get a more affordable bargain. To be frozen for some time before use. Depending on the gender, male crabs have a pointed apron, larger claws, and little aligue. While female crabs have a rounded apron, a lot more aligue that has a more solid texture. Young crabs are soft, with a semi rounded apron usually females, often cooked whole or with the upper shell removed slathered with batter and cooked to a crisp and eaten with a side of rice or as a ‘pulutan’ or one partnered with beer or other alcoholic beverages, the shells are soft enough for this to be eaten whole. The aligue or ‘taba ng talangka’ which literally translates into ‘crab fat’ found in crabs are the roe or reddish orange paste found in crabs. They are also called crab roe; the paste is sold packaged or in glass jars, and used as a condiment sautéed with garlic, with plain or seasoned oil added to preserve it better. Used to make dishes like this crab in coconut milk dish, crab fried rice or added into crab based dishes to add more flavor.

Ginataang Alimasag recipe

Why people love crab dishes like Crab in coconut milk

There are a number of crab species in the Philippines. Purchased between June until early September to get a better deal while the demand is low. The prices go high and are usually over changed during mid September till February where there are a lot of holidays to celebrate from Chinese New year, Moon cake Festival, Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s, New Year’s Eve, and many more. The native crabs found in the Philippines have the most meat. The Native crab and king crab have the biggest and most powerful pincers or claws, and have thicker shells, reddish brown coloring, or a dirty almost muddy looking green color, or just a grayish black color that helps them hide in the mud. Cruzan crabs are expensive crabs that has a delicious flavor and makes for a deliciously majestic looking meal. There are also the blue crabs are the tastiest and most commonly found in supermarkets, they are thinner and has a distinct blue hue that turns red-orange once cooked. All in all crabs are a delicious worth it dish that costs a pretty penny. Make sure to buy or cook and enjoy them before the holidays or buy them earlier to store these in the freezer, eating them within a month or so to avoid spoilage.

Have a go with this insanely delicious creamy and sweet crab in coconut milk dish that will surely impress your friends and family!

Crab with coconut milk

Course: Filipino Recipes, Seafood



A crab dish simmered in a creamy flavorfully decadent sauce


  • 6 medium sized crabs

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped)

  • 1 medium sized onion (chopped)

  • 1 medium sized ginger (chopped)

  • 2 tablespoons crab fat

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 red chili (chopped)


  • Clean the crabs by scrubbing its shell, belly, feet, and claws, and remove it’s apron. Set aside.
  • In a pan at medium heat, melt the butter, sauté garlic, onions, and ginger. Mix well. Add the crab fat and mix well. Mix in the oyster sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Pour in a cup of coconut milk and stir well.
  • Place the crab in and cover for 5 minutes. Flip to cook both sides, and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt, pepper, and red chili. Cover for another 3 minutes.
  • Mix the broth and let it simmer for a minute. Flip the crab again, front side up and serve!

Crabs cooked in coconut milk is a simple dish that just needs some time to clean the crabs, and prepare the aromatics, and a little bit of simmering to make. Its such a remarkable delectable dish that can be made at home within a few minutes that you’ll regret not trying this earlier! Give this dish a try and make sure to cook lots and lots of rice in preparation. You’ll surely salivate at the sight and aroma wafting all over the kitchen while this crab dish is simmering in the savory sweet tasting coconut milk, crab fat, garlicky sauce.

Crab with coconut milk recipe (tagalog)


  • 6 katamtamang laking alimango
  • 1 kutsarang mantikilya
  • 5 butil ng bawang (tinadtad)
  • 1 katamtamang laking sibuyas (tinadtad)
  • 1 katamtamang laking luya (tinadtad)
  • 2 kutsarang taba ng alimango
  • 1 kutsarang oyster sauce
  • 1 kutsarang suka
  • 1 kutsaritang asukal
  • 1 tasa coconut milk
  • 1 kutsaritang asin
  • ½ kutsaritang paminta
  • 1 red chili (tinadtad)

Paano lutuin

  1. Linisin ang mga alimango, kuskusin ang kabibi, tiyan, paa, at kuko, tanggalin ang tapis nito at itabi.
  2. Sa kawali na may katamtamang init, tunawin ang mantikilya, lutuin ang bawang, sibuyas, at luya. Haluin ng mabuti at haluin ang taba ng alimango. Isama ang oyster sauce, suka, at asukal. Ibuhos ang coconut milk at ihalo ng mabuti.
  3. Ilugar ang mga alimango sa kawali at takpan ng 5 minuto. Ibaliktad para maluto ang bawat gilid, wisikin ng asin, paminta, at red chili. Takpan ng 3 minuto.
  4. Haluin ang sarsa at pakuluin ng isang minuto. Baliktarin na nasa taas ang kabibi bago ihanda.
How to cook Ginataang Alimasag
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