Filipino loves sea foods especially crabs. In my village we have this way of cooking crabs that really spicy. Bicol region is known for siling labuyo and we almost put siling labuyo in every menu we cooked taste.
1 thumb ginger cut into thin strips
½ tsp ground black pepper
3 to 4 cups fresh malunggay
3-4 siling labuyo (finger chilis) optional
1. In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger.
2. Add the ground black pepper and coconut milk then bring to a boil
3. Put-in the fish sauce and cook until the coconut milk’s texture is thick and natural oil comes out of it (approximately 20 ++ minutes)
4. Add the siling labuyo and simmer for 5 minutes
5. Put the crabs in the pot and mix until evenly covered with coconut milk.
6. Simmer for 5 to 20 minutes. (Note: If crabs were steamed prior to cooking, 5 to 8 minutes is enough)
7. Add the malunggay and simmer for 7 minutes
Something to think about:
1. Substitutes for alimango: Alimasag, talangka, crab sticks, frozen crab claws, shrimps
2. Instead of malunggay, you can also use kalabasa (squash) and/or sitaw (string beans).
3. For instant gata, follow package directions for making thin coconut milk.
4. Did you know, malunggay is known as Sajina in the Indian subcontinent, and Moringa in English?
1. Turn the crab and lift its apron like tail and break it.
2. Stick your thumb in the hole left in the apron and pull out the carapace. It will come apart showing the guts and gills of the crab. You can clean and preserve the carapace to serve the scooped out crab meat.
3. Under running water, take out the guts with your finger. You can also pull out the gills with your hands, leaving aside white or pink flesh, depending on the type of crab you got.
4. Take apart the bigger claws. and crack them with a big spoon or a ladle. This will make it easy for you to reach the meat once its cooked.
5. With a strong pair of scissors, cut the abdomen with the meat along the middle.