Shrimp and Vegetable Gata

The dish might look a little too mushy but it was delicious! I purposely mashed some of the squash to create a thicker soup. Actually, the first batch of this included crabs. We had it for a Sunday night dinner. I added a few shrimps so that we can have the leftovers as baon the next day.

My grandmother is from Bicol and we all know what that place is famous for - gata, ginataan or dishes made with coconut milk. When I was a kid, I hated laing and anything with gata. I didn't like eating ginataang langka or jackfruit cooked in coconut milk. But when I visited Bicol, I fell in love with gata. Maybe it was all part of growing up - I appreciate more types of food now than 10 years ago. I love ginataang langka, laing and anything in between. Ooops, but not Bicol Express. I don't like pork.

This dish is simple to make apart from squeezing the niyog (grated coconut). I leave the squeezing part to MB. But you can always use canned coconut milk. I hate to say this but the canned coconut milk from Thailand tastes better than the local ones (in my opinion). It's a pink can, of which the brand escapes me at the moment. But there is absolutely no substitution for freshly squeezed gata.

I used the milk of one niyog for this recipe. First, I heated the kakang gata. That's almost pure milk extracted from the first squeeze. Then I added some chopped garlic and onions. Then added about 2T of bagoong. Then I poured the remaining milk. I then added the chopped crabs and let them cook. When half cooked, add the squash then the string beans. Before everything is fully cooked, add the shrimps. Serve hot with lots of rice.

The one on the picture was just taken out of the ref. We just reheated it and had a hearty Monday lunch.  What's your favorite gata dish?


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