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Ginataan, alternatively spelled guinataan, is a Filipinomarker term which refers to food cooked with gata - the Filipino word for coconut milk. Literally translated, ginataan means "done with coconut milk". Due to the general nature of the term, it can refer to a number of different dishes, each called ginataan, but distinct from one another.


Ginataan is a name shared by various desserts; for example, a soup made with coconut milk, tubers, tapioca pearls, and sago. This soup is also called "'tinunuan" in Cebuano, "alpahor" in Chavacano, "ginettaán" in Ilokano, and "ginat-an" in Hiligaynon. If gummy balls made of pounded glutinous rice are added, it becomes a dish called bilo-bilo. Ginataang mais is another example of a dessert soup; a warm, sweet, thick gruel made with coconut milk, sweet corn and glutinous rice.

Ginataan can also refer to viands, which are eaten with rice during the major meals of the day. It normally follows the form "ginataan na/ginataang + (whatever it is cooked with)". For example, ginataang hipon refers to shrimp cooked in coconut milk, ginataang gulay to an assortment of vegetables cooked in coconut milk, while ginataang alimango is mud crab cooked in coconut milk. Coconut milk can also be added to existing dishes, as in ginataang adobo.

There are other dishes that are known by their own unique names, such as Bicol Express and Pinakbet, which also nonetheless fall under the ginataan category because of the nature of the main ingredient, which is coconut milk.



The meat of a mature coconut is grated and the "thick" milk is extracted. Two cups of water are added to the grated coconut and a second extraction is made. This becomes the "thin" milk. This "thin" coconut milk extract is added to cubed kamote (sweet potato), gabi (taro) and ube (purple yam), sliced ripe sabá (plantain) and langka (jack fruit), and tapioca pearls. Sometimes, young coconut meat strips are also added. The mixture is brought to a boil; being stirred occasionally until done. Just before removal from the flame, the "thick" coconut milk is added.

Ginataan may be eaten hot (during the cold, rainy season) or cold, but it is best served chilled. Some Filipinos even serve it frozen, eating the dessert much like ice cream.


In preparing most ginataan viands, garlic is first sauteed in oil, followed by the vegetables, and then the meat. The coconut milk is then added, and the mixture allowed to simmer.

See also


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