Alugbati Recipe

Experience Filipino flavors with our Alugbati Recipe. Learn to cook this Malabar spinach delight with shrimp and coconut milk. Delicious and easy!



  • Cuisine: Filipino
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 2
  • Calories: 300 calories

Alugbati, also known as Malabar spinach or vine spinach, is a leafy green vegetable with a unique and distinctive flavor. It is native to South Asia but is cultivated and enjoyed in various parts of the world. The plant gets its name from its climbing or vining nature, as it often grows like a vine and can reach impressive lengths.

One of the key characteristics of alugbati is its heart-shaped leaves, which come in a vibrant green or red variety. These leaves are not only visually appealing but also offer a mild, slightly tangy, and earthy taste. The leaves can be used in a variety of culinary applications, making alugbati a versatile ingredient.

In Filipino cuisine, alugbati is a popular addition to dishes like sinigang (a sour soup), adobo (a savory stew), and ginataang alugbati (as mentioned in the earlier recipe). It's valued not only for its flavor but also for its nutritional value.

Alugbati is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium, making it a healthy addition to your diet. Whether it's used in salads, stir-fries, or cooked as a side dish, alugbati adds a delightful touch to a variety of dishes and is a beloved component of Filipino and Asian cuisine.


You're about to discover the Taste of the Tropics: Indulge in Our Exquisite Alugbati with Shrimp and Coconut Milk Recipe – A Filipino Delight!


  • 2 cups alugbati leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 pound medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method Instructions

  1. Heat the cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and bring it to a simmer. Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes until the coconut milk thickens slightly.
  4. Add the alugbati leaves and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until they wilt.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Recipe Video


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Recipe Tags: Alugbati, Alugbati Recipe, Recipe


Alugbati can be served in several delicious ways, depending on your culinary preferences and the dish you've prepared. Here are some common ways to serve alugbati:

  • As a Side Dish: Alugbati can be served as a side dish to complement a main course. In Filipino cuisine, it's often cooked with coconut milk and served with rice as a side to dishes like adobo or grilled fish.
  • In Salads: Alugbati leaves can be used in salads to add a fresh, slightly tangy element. You can mix them with other salad greens, fruits, and vegetables, and top with your favorite salad dressing.
  • In Stir-Fries: Add alugbati to stir-fries along with other vegetables and proteins like tofu, chicken, or shrimp. Its mild flavor complements the stir-fry sauce well.
  • In Soups: Alugbati can be added to soups like sinigang (Filipino sour soup) for a nutritious and slightly tangy twist. Simply toss in the washed and chopped alugbati leaves near the end of the cooking process.
  • As a Garnish: Use alugbati leaves as a garnish for various dishes, adding a pop of color and freshness to your plate.
  • Steamed or Blanched: Steam or blanch alugbati briefly, then drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. This simple preparation lets the natural flavor of the alugbati shine.

The alugbati leaves cook quickly and should be served while they are still vibrant and tender. The serving method can vary depending on your taste and the specific dish you've prepared. Enjoy exploring the versatility of alugbati in your culinary creations


  1. Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh alugbati leaves and quality shrimp for the best flavor. Fresh ingredients can make a significant difference in the final dish.
  2. Adjust the Spice: You can add a bit of red chili or chili flakes if you like some heat in your dish. Adjust the amount to suit your spice preference.
  3. Coconut Milk: Be careful not to overheat or boil the coconut milk excessively as it can curdle. Keep the heat at a gentle simmer when adding the coconut milk.
  4. Shrimp Cooking Time: Shrimp cook quickly, so be attentive to avoid overcooking. They're done when they turn pink and opaque.
  5. Balance Flavors: Taste the dish before serving and adjust the seasoning. You can add a bit of salt or pepper if needed to balance the flavors.
  6. Variations: Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, or different protein sources like chicken or tofu to create your unique version of this dish.
  7. Serving Suggestions: This dish is traditionally served with steamed rice. The rice complements the creamy coconut milk and alugbati flavors perfectly.
  8. Garnish: For a fresh touch, you can garnish the dish with some fresh cilantro leaves or a squeeze of lime juice just before serving.
  9. Rinse Alugbati: Alugbati leaves should be thoroughly washed and drained to remove any dirt or impurities before cooking.
  10. Cook Alugbati Briefly: Add the alugbati leaves towards the end of the cooking process to preserve their vibrant color and prevent overcooking.

Ingredient Substitutes

  1. Alugbati (Malabar Spinach): You can substitute spinach, Swiss chard, or kale for alugbati. These leafy greens have a different flavor but work well in similar dishes.
  2. Shrimp: You can replace shrimp with other protein sources such as chicken, tofu, or even fish fillets. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  3. Coconut Milk: If you don't have coconut milk, you can use coconut cream, which is thicker, or a mixture of coconut cream and chicken or vegetable broth. Alternatively, you can use heavy cream or milk for a less traditional but still creamy result.
  4. Ginger: If you don't have fresh ginger, you can use ground ginger powder as a substitute. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger.
  5. Onion and Garlic: You can use onion powder and garlic powder as a substitute for fresh onion and garlic. Keep in mind that the flavors may be slightly different.
  6. Cooking Oil: You can use other cooking oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil in place of the oil mentioned in the recipe.
  7. Salt and Pepper : These are basic seasonings, and you can adjust them according to your taste or use any preferred seasoning blends.
  8. Red Chili (optional) : If you want to add some heat but don't have fresh red chilies, you can use red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper.


Embrace the rich flavors of Filipino cuisine with our Alugbati recipe. With every bite, savor the essence of tropical delight!

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