Philippine Style Stuffed Crab (Rellenong Alimasag)
A cooking process commonly used in the Philippines, is called relleno which means to stuff. Relleno makes it’s appearance during the Christmas season. Meat is removed from the crabs and mixed with some vegetables and refilled on the top shell and then fried. This is one of the most festive dishes that I could think of that really celebrates the fresh seafood we have in the Philippines. The dish itself is not difficult to make, but it is quite time consuming to remove all that meat from the crab – if you are lucky enough to afford good quality shelled crab meat, it makes life easier. Sometimes I add diced prawns if I’ve “accidentally” eaten some crab meat filling in the process of picking out the crab meat!
4 live blue swimmer crabs
100 ml olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 small waxy potato, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Place the crabs in the freezer for 30 minutes to send them to sleep, then drop then in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and allow to cool. Pick out the meat from the crabs and place them in a bowl. Reserve the top shells and give them a good rinse and set aside.
Heat 50 ml of the olive oil in a large pan and saute the onion for around 5 minutes until translucent. Add the diced carrot and potato along with the garlic cloves and cook until the vegetables are soft, around 10 minutes over a low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the vegetables in a bowl with the reserved crab meat and mix in the lightly beaten egg. Allow to cool slightly and then divide the crab mixture among the four shells.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large pan and carefully place the crab shells (crab mixture facing the pan) on the heat and cook for around 5 minutes over a medium heat until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with ketchup (banana is my preference) and mayonnaise on the side.