22 Jan2010


Rellenong Alimasag or stuffed blue crab is normally deep-fried. But since we were going to have a nice big hot grill going, I thought I might try a lower-fat grilled version of this festive and slightly decadent dish.


Still at the carbon market, I was amazed to find a few vendors who specialized in freshly picked (or sometimes frozen/chilled) alimasag or blue crab meat. At a stunningly reasonable price of PHP180 per kilo for “dark” meat and PHP280 per kilo for white meat, I decided to buy half a kilo of each, so one kilo of mixed meat cost PHP230 ($5)! If I bought fresh alimasag steamed and picked the crab ourselves this would have cost at LEAST 4x as much! So this was defnitely a deal, assuming the crab meat was fresh… Crab shells, albeit somewhat small, were PHP1 each.


Into a pan I added some olive oil, a bit of minced bacon, then onions, a little minced garlic, some minced red and green bell peppers, a few chopped red tomatoes and sauteed this for a few minutes. I added the crab meat, seasoned with salt and pepper and mixed this well until done. Off the heat, I added some breadcrumbs and about 6 whole eggs, beaten lightly, and mixed this all up well. Next the crab shells were stuffed generously, topped with some panko Japanese bread crumbs and set on a hot grill…


A few minutes later, I was worried the breadcrumbs wouldn’t brown so I made a foil “igloo” on top of the crab shell and it turned out very well. Eaten as soon as it was off the grill, it was moist, delicious and very tasty. You wouldn’t believe that it had as much as 80% less fat than the normal rellenong alimasag. But be careful not to overcook this particularly when your coals are raging. We tried a few wrapped up in foil but in the end, I like the ones that were straight on the grill… I have never seen anyone else do this on a grill, so just in case you were wondering, it does work. :)

But just in case you want the fat, here’s my recipe for a more classic rellenong alimasag



  1. consol says:

    you’re a mean marketman! now i am craving for this dish … *sigh* but will have to settle for cheese on wholewheat bread, dang!

    i’m gonna try this as soon as i get my hands on crab meat.

    Jan 22, 2010 | 6:51 am


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  3. atbnorge says:

    I am going to get my grubby hands on some crabby meat, too, ang sarap nito, MM. It seems like aeons ago when I last tasted rellenong alimasag.

    Jan 22, 2010 | 8:05 am

  4. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Wow MM, is this in preparation for tonight’s dinner? Or was this (going to market) for the super-duper chef/restaurateur guest of yours?

    Jan 22, 2010 | 8:09 am

  5. Marketman says:

    Artisan, it was a crew member’s birthday, and I was experimenting! It turned out really nicely. :)

    Jan 22, 2010 | 8:56 am

  6. Impromptu Diva says:

    it’s been a long time since i had rellenong alimasag… i want to eat one right now…kamayan style! yum!

    Jan 22, 2010 | 8:57 am

  7. Betchay says:

    You’re brilliant MM!I would never have thought to do relleno on a grill!A real fat buster!Thanks!I like the flavor of paprika or chopped wansuy in my rellenong alimasag .

    Jan 22, 2010 | 9:03 am

  8. millet says:

    wow, never thought this was possible. and nice to know the carbon crabmeat people are still there..last time i got crabmeat there must have been 25 years ago! must go get some next time i’m in cebu. thanks, MM!

    Jan 22, 2010 | 9:32 am

  9. Bubut says:

    MM youre very lucky in Cebu where you can buy the meat already flaked and the shells ready for stuffing. i hope all markets in Manila have that type of luxury.

    Jan 22, 2010 | 10:57 am

  10. Nicole says:

    what’s the difference between alimango and alimasag?

    Jan 22, 2010 | 12:30 pm

  11. thelma says:

    nicole, the difference is in the spelling…hahahah! just joking! i think the alimango
    is the bigger one and the alimasag is the blue crab, am i right?

    Jan 22, 2010 | 12:39 pm

  12. Joyce says:

    yummy! we always have this deep fried i never thought it would be as good grilled

    Jan 22, 2010 | 1:03 pm

  13. barefoot too says:

    Divisoria wet market always have these flaked crab meat but from the sight and smell of it, you’d know it was fresh out of the chillers. Its anybody’s guess how long they’ve been languishing inside the styro crates. So, no choice but to steam and pick the flesh ourselves. And crab shells go for 5.00 apiece.

    Jan 22, 2010 | 1:35 pm

  14. Ariel says:

    I like stuffed crab specially with banana ketchup.

    Jan 22, 2010 | 2:28 pm

  15. melanie v. says:

    What a brilliant idea to beat the added cholesterol one gets from frying! more of these yummy fat-buster recipes, please!

    Jan 22, 2010 | 4:42 pm

  16. Ester says:

    Thanks for posting. This looks really good to try. It’s still winter here in New England. I think I’ll try to bake it then broil in the last few minutes to brown the top. I’ll try grilling in Spring. Funny thing is, I am allergic to boiled crabs but not crab cakes. :-)

    Jan 23, 2010 | 1:15 am

  17. Marnisa says:

    MR. MM,

    I love your blog and I will visit it everyday. Your post today reminded me of the days when I was in Siargao Island, particularly in the Del Carmen municipality where the crabs are 5 – 6 kilos a piece….sighs……your blog is not only entertaining but very informative and is written visually that makes me want to rekindle my love for cooking again ^_^

    Jan 23, 2010 | 1:30 am

  18. pegi says:

    Hi, MM ! Aren’t you lucky to get those freshly picked crabs at that price? Here at Costco, I can get those crabs for like $13 for a small tub and it is not that fresh. Next time I go back there, that’s the first food(aside from ginataang green langka) that I will be looking for. Thanks so much.

    Jan 23, 2010 | 4:38 am

  19. quiapo says:

    I wonder if at that price, the crab meat did not have extenders. It is such a good and healthy alternative to grill food rather than fry,; the concept can be applied to other dishes such as rellenong bangus. I already grill daing and tapa rather than fry, and I prefer it with its smoky flavour. In Australia we often grill sugpo on the barbeque.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 5:06 am

  20. Marketman says:

    nicole, sorry for the late reply, I just noticed the question now. Alimango are mud crabs and have thicker shells, typically grown in fishponds/crabponds or caught wild int he mangroves. Alimasag are typically thinner shelled crabs, often called blue crabs or cross crabs and they typically are harvested at sea. I have posts on both kinds of crabs and others in the archives.

    Jan 24, 2010 | 8:47 am

  21. Marketman says:

    quiapo, no extenders. I watched them peel a few and I inspected the meat rather closely. I am kinda averse to buying this at markets for the probably irrational fear of cooties but this looked fine. And no one got sick from the finished product…

    Jan 24, 2010 | 8:48 am

  22. BD says:

    I can’t think of a netral binder instead of egg to preserve the sweetness of the blue crab. P

    Jan 26, 2010 | 7:54 am


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