“Pagkagod anay tabi sin lubi kay maggatá kitá san surá (Please grate coconut because we’ll cook a dish with coconut juice)” is a command most Masbateños can relate to.
May it be for lunch, dinner, or merienda, expect gata (coconut milk) to rule at the table – used in either savory, sweet, or extra spicy dishes.
In a country where Bicol express, ginataang tulingan, ginataang tilapia, laing, and adobo sa gata are well-loved, check out these 10 easy ginataan dishes from Masbate you wish you had heard of before!
Many residents in Masbate grew up having pinakro – or ginataang saging na saba – as their merienda, paired with coffee. Pinakro can use cassava or saba, and can be served hot or cold.
Sinangkutsa sa manok
Derby is popular in the province so chicken is almost always available. One unique dish that we cook is sinangkutsa.
The cooking process is similar to chicken curry, only we use something sour, like tamarind or batuan fruit, instead of a curry mix. We also put saba and wild ube for a thicker sauce. Just imagine sinigang na manok, with coconut juice as the soup and that’s sinangkutsa. Swear you’ll crave for extra rice!
If you know bopis (sautéed pork/beef lungs and heart), it’s easier to relate to this dish, because only the coconut juice makes kandingga different. For Masbatenos, it’s prepared extra spicy.
For a complete recipe, check this.
Pinakul-aw na daing
Tired of daing (dried fish) for breakfast? You can prepare it for lunch or dinner by cooking pinakul-aw.
Pinakul-aw is simply ginataang daing with malunggay. The cooking preparation is really easy – first, bring coconut juice with onions and garlic to boil, then add the dried fish, pepper, chili and malunggay. Since it’s already salty, there’s no need for seasoning.
Pinakul-aw can use either carabao meat or grilled fish.
Kurot or wild yam with coconut juice is can also be served for breakfast, merienda, or as a snack. However, the preparation of kurot itself is not easy, because of its poisonous nature, so it’s best to buy directly from vendors.
Some people consider offering it first to an animal before eating it.
When cooking, make sure to bring the kurot to a boil for a longer time, and wait until it softens before putting in the coconut juice. It can be served sweet or salty.
Ginataang Buto ng Langka
You might know jackfruit with coconut juice, but most of us haven’t heard of using its seed as ginataan. Oddly enough, it tastes just like peanuts!
Boiling the seed may take time, but it’s worth it – just make sure to boil the seeds until it completely softens before putting in the gata. Season with salt.
Breadfruit is noticeably similar in appearance to jackfruit. However, jackfruit with coconut juice is served savoury, as entree, while breadfruit with coconut juice is served sweet, as merienda or snack.
Here’s the cooking preparation if you want to try it.
Most neighborhoods in Masbate grow malunggay so most of our dishes are served with it, like the ginataang malunggay, which is cooked almost like the pinakul-aw, without the daing.
First, separate the leaves from its stem. Bring coconut juice to a boil then add the malunggay leaves. It’s tastier when spicy!
For a cooking guide, you can refer to this.
In most parts of Bicol, including Masbate, the lubi-lubi plant’s young shoots are cooked in gata. It’s pretty much the same as cooking ginataang malunggay.
For inspiration, check this recipe.
Aside from Tagbilaran, Masbate is also a place where bago plants thrive. In some places, it is also called, lumbay.
If you know laing, this is sometimes called its competitor. It can be cooked with monggo and jackfruit but it’s best when cooked on its own.
Here’s a guide if you want to try it yourself.
Find yourself saying “bagan kanamit man sani (this looks delicious)?” Well, kaon kita! (let’s eat!) – Rappler.com
Chantall Marie Luzong is a 23-year old freelance writer from the island of Masbate. She graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English. Aside from writing, she is currently pursuing her ESL teaching.