Curacha is famous in Mindanao, especially in Zamboanga. It’s a spanner crab or red frog crab, a crustacean hybrid native to the waters of Zamboanga and Sulu. It can be cooked with sauce or steamed.


  • 1 kilo curacha (redfrog crab or spanner crab)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt or rock salt
  • 1 cup sprite or 7-Up
  1. How to cook Halabos na Curacha:
  2. Wash the curacha in running water and use toothbrush to clean the shells if necessary. Drain.
  3. Put the curacha in a cooking pot or medium size wok. Sprinkle with salt, pour the sprite or 7-up and butter.
  4. Bring to a boil than simmer until the curacha is cooked and almost all the liquid has evaporated.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve.





This chicken recipe involves sauteing chicken with onion, garlic, and ginger, then stewing in coconut cream. To make the dish more flavorful, native chicken is used.

Ginataang Manok


    • ¼ cup oil
    • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
    • ½ red bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced into strips
    • ½ green bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced into strips
    • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    • 1 (3 to 4 pounds) whole chicken, cut into parts
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1 (14 ounces) can coconut milk
    • ½ cup water
    • 4 to 5 Thai chili peppers, stemmed and chopped
    • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a wide skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add potatoes and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, remove potatoes from pan and drain on paper towels.
  2. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove and drain on paper towels.
  3. Remove excess oil from pan except for about 2 tablespoons. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until limp.
  4. Add chicken and cook, turning as needed, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned and juices run clear. Add fish sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk and chili peppers. Bring to a simmer. Lower heat, cover, and continue to cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is reduced.
  6. Add potatoes and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender and sauce is thickened. Add bell peppers and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through but still crisp. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.



Satti is a popular breakfast food in Mindanao particularly in Zamboanga. It’s actually three small bits of meat (beef and chicken liver) grilled in a stick similar to a barbecue, only it is served along with rice balls swimming in a sweet spicy sauce.


First of all, we’re going to list the ingredients you need to make satti sauce:

  • ½ cup siling labuyo or catumbal
  • 5 thumb size ginger pieces
  • 4 thumb size turmeric
  •  1 fist size onion bulb
  • 6 leaves of oregano, or 1 tsp oregano powder
  •  2 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 15 g Anito powder
  • 3-4 chicken cubes
  •  ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 inches taro root


Now let’s get down to business and give you the recipe for satti sauce:

  1.  Boil water 6 quarts.
  2. Add taro root to it.
  3. Add 3-4 chicken cubes, ¼ cup coconut milk and 2 tsp curry powder to it.
  4. Keep stirring while the mixture boils.
  5. Blend together ½ cup siling labuyo or catumbal, 5 thumb size ginger pieces, 4 thumb size turmeric, 1 fist size onion bulb and oregano. You may add a little water to begin the blend.
  6. Mix ½ cup corn starch, ½ cup flour, 1 ½ cup sugar, 1 tbsp salt and 15 g Anito powder, add water and stir until the mixture is free of lumps.
  7. Sauté tomato and shrimp paste with a little oil, and then add the mixture of siling labuyo or catumbal, ginger, turmeric, onion and oregano to it. Keep sautéing until the mixture becomes partially dried.
  8. Pour this mixture into the water that has boiled
  9. Stir and add coconut milk.
  10. Add the mixture of corn starch, flour, sugar, salt and Anito powder to it.
  11. Add water until you reach the desired consistency.
  12.  Let it cook for 20 minutes on medium flame.
  13. Keep stirring frequently to avoid any sticking on the pot.
  14. If you want the sauce to be less thick, you can add water.
  15. Let it cool for 2 minutes and then serve.
  16. The satti sauce you have made this way can be refrigerated for later use. You need to microwave it for 3-4 minutes whenever you want to use it.



Biryani dish is said to be a food made by the Muslim community in Indian/Persian region. So it’s no surprise that this delicious recipe has made its way to the Muslim community as part Mindanao cuisine. Biryani is basically a fried rice dish with bits of chicken or seafood and other spices.



  • 600 gm boiled basmati rice
  • 4 tablespoon minced mint leaves
  • salt as required
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 400 gm thinly sliced white onion
  • 8 green cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 kilograms chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 4 sliced & slit green chilli
  • 320 gm chopped tomato
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 tablespoon refined oil

For Marination

  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 6 tablespoon plain greek yogurt

1 teaspoon powdered turmeric


Pastil is a popular Mindanao food found in the street of Maguindanao. It’s basically a rice covered in banana leaf with chicken or beef adobo strips as fillings, which proves that Mindanao cuisine is more on easy-to-follow recipes. Zamboanga has also their own version of the dish. Their pastil is like an empanada, but instead of pork and vegetables, pancit noodles (rice noodles) are used as fillings.



1 kilo of Chicken

Half an onion, thinly sliced

½ cup Cooking oil

¼ cup of Soy Sauce

¾ cup Vinegar

½ tsp. Black Pepper

Salt to taste

4 Cups of White Rice

Banana Leaves for wrapping


  1. Cook rice then set aside.
  2. Slice chicken and boil until the meat is tender.
  3. Let the meat cool before making it into flakes.
  4. Put oil in a pan then sauté the sliced onions in low fire.  When the onions turn transparent, add the flaked chicken meat, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes before adding the vinegar and soy sauce.  Continue to cook until the oil comes out.
  6. Put rice in banana leaves and top it with the chicken adobo flakes then wrap.

One Pastil usually sells for Php10 in Davao City.