How To Cook The Best Ginataang Galunggong

Ginataan recipes are famous in the Philippines. “Ginataan” came from the root word “gata” or coconut cream. The Philippines is very rich in natural resources like agricultural land and fisheries. It is one of the top producers of coconut. 

(Photo Credits To: delishph)

Galunggong or Mackerel Scad is known as “fish for the poor in the Philippines. It is because there’s always an abundant supply of this fish. You can buy this fish for only 30 pesos per kilo before or 0.60USD. 

This recipe is so cheap yet healthy and delicious. For less than 100 pesos or 2 USD, you can enjoy Ginataang Galunggong. The combination of coconut cream and mackerel scad is out of this world. The sweetness of the coconut cream balances the saltiness of the fish; everything goes perfectly together. Yes! It is cheap but full of flavor and nutrition.

Ways to Cook

(Photo Credits To: delishph)

There are many ways to cook this recipe, but here are the best ways to cook Ginataang Galunggong.


This way of cooking is the best way to cook fish. It is a primary way of cooking and the easiest method to cook this recipe. You can fry the fish in the skillet and make the sauce in the same skillet. 

Instant Pot

If you want to cook everything at once, this cooking method is the best. Just put the fish, coconut cream, and other ingredients in one pot and let it boil. You can enjoy this recipe in less than 30 minutes.

Slow Cook

Slow cooking is similar to the instant pot. You can just put all the ingredients in the pot and let it simmer. The only difference is that you need more time to let it simmer.

Other Delicious Variants and Recipes of Ginataang Galunggong

(Photo Credits To: filipino style recipe)

Being the world’s second-largest coconut producer, Filipinos created various products like coconut oil, copra or dried coconut, and desiccated coconut. They also make different versions and recipes of Ginataang Galunggong. Here are the top three best Ginataang Galunggong variants.

Ginataang Galunggong with Malunggay

Ginataang Galunggong is perfect with Malunggay, not just perfect but also healthy. Malunggay is rich in many nutrients that our body needs. It is rich in protein, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and iron. This recipe is perfect for high blood sugar and pressure since it can lower cholesterol and blood sugar. 

Ginataang Galunggong with Turmeric sauce

If you want a little kick of spiciness, add turmeric sauce. The turmeric sauce is also one of the best combinations for this recipe. It has good benefits on our body and can prevent heart disease and even cancer.

Ginataang Galunggong with Kalabasa

The Kalabasa or squash goes well in every gata or coconut cream recipe. It adds texture and makes the dish look appetizing. It is very rich in fiber and potassium. It is good to eat after a long day because it helps ease muscle cramps.

Ginataang Galunggong with Pechay

Pechay or Chinese cabbage is suitable for this recipe. It is a leafy green type of vegetable and is often used in Chinese cuisine. Pechay is very low in calories, high in calcium, and very essential for maintaining healthy bones. People are unaware that this vegetable is also good for our eyesight. Pechay makes the Ginataang Galunggong more special and a complete healthy dish. 

Ginataang Galunggong with Papaya

If you want more texture in this recipe, you can never go wrong with Papaya. Papaya, like the other dishes, is a healthy ingredient that you can add. The Papaya is a vegetable loaded with nutrients. It has anticancer and antioxidants effects. It also fights inflammation and improves digestion. Ginataang Galunggong with Papaya is a one of a kind dish.

Ginataang Galunggong with Bagoong

Bagoong is perfect for this recipe. It is composed of fermented fish or shrimp paste with salt. It will give a different taste of saltiness in this recipe and a kick of spiciness. It will also provide a more appetizing look because the bagoong color varies from light pink to dark brown.


Did you know that last 2019, the Philippines produced 14.8 million metric tons of coconut. Our country is one of the largest coconut producers, and CALABARZON province is the country’s coconut producer. The coconut industry plays a significant role in shaping the Philippines’ development. 

Our country produces and exports hundreds of different coconut products all over the world. This is why coconut is usually called the “Tree of Life”. You can make a lot of coconut products from the top to the bottom of the tree. It can sustain all the needs of a human being,


Here are some key points to remember before cooking the best Ginataang Galunggong.

  • Choosing the fish with shiny skin is a good sign that the fish is fresh.
  • The surface of the fish should have a slime feeling.
  • Always choose the fish with pink or red gills. Do not pick the fish that has brown or faded gills.
  • Do not buy fish that have red and cloudy eyes. This is a sign that your fish has gone stale.
  • As much as possible, use natural coconut.
  • You can fry the fish first before adding the sauce. This will give texture to the dish.
  • Choose the best quality of ingredients.


When you make an error, here are the best ways to help you save this dish.

  • When the dish is too sweet, a pinch of salt helps balance the sweetness.
  • If all you can taste is the coconut cream, a sprinkle of calamansi would be great to cut down the creamy flavor.

Best Serve With

This recipe is better enjoyed with other foods. Here is the best menu to pair with the Best Ginataang Galunggong Recipe.

  • Java Rice is a well-known Filipino fried rice with turmeric and annatto oil usually served with fried or grilled main dishes.
  • Grilled Pork Liver – Pork liver is very cheap in the Philippines. This is also a great combination for this recipe. You can marinate it in a soy sauce or oyster sauce, even in barbeque sauce, to add more flavors and to bring out the natural flavor. 
  • Suam na Mais is a classic corn broth, but instead of yellow corn, we use white corn kernels.
  • Atcharang Papaya – A pickle made grated unripe green papaya with julienned ginger, onion, garlic, carrot slices, and bell pepper with a sweet and sour taste.
  • Sweetened Saba Banana – It is a favorite Filipino dessert; the main ingredient is banana with the sweet mixture is a syrup made from sugar, water, and vanilla,
  • Nilupak – It is a traditional Filipino food dessert made from different root crops like cassava or even banana.
  • Palitaw sa Latik – It is a kind of rice cake made of rice flour or grinds glutinous rice, boiled in water, then coated with sesame seeds and grated coconut meat. People usually compare this to Japanese Mochi.


The Ginataang Galunggong recipe is an effortless and cheap dish. It is also a very healthy recipe. If you are looking for dishes when you want to lose weight, this is perfect since it will balance your nutrition intake. This dish reminds us that Philippine cuisine is one of a kind. Money is not a problem, be creative, and you can always make the best recipe to serve your family. 

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy.

creamy ginataang galunggon with green chili and ginger in a plate
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5 from 1 vote

Best Ginataang Galunggong Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Seafood Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 341kcal
Cost $5-20


  • 4 pcs Galunggong big size, cleaned
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 4 pcs Long green chilies
  • 1 thumb Ginger cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 pc Red onion cut into strips
  • 3 cups Coconut milk


  • Pour the coconut milk in a wide cooking pot. Let it boil.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, onion, fish sauce, and ground black pepper. Stir. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Arrange the fish in the cooking pot along with the Serrano pepper. Cover and then continue cooking in medium heat for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the cover. Let the sauce reduce to about 1/2 to 3/4 cups.
  • Transfer to a serving plate. Serve with warm rice.
  • Share and enjoy!


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 398mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 6mg
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