When my eldest brother announced he was going to try and bring 10 hectares of family fishponds in the outskirts of Lucena City back from the dead, we all wished him well. So about 9 months later, when he was expecting his first modest harvest of alimango, or mud crab, of course we had to be supportive and purchase some of the bounty. He had suffered minor setbacks at the start, like did you know if you overfeed crabs they basically don’t know when to stop and die from overeating???, but was slowly getting the hang of things. He has since converted some ponds to raising bangus in addition to crab, and is doing rather well I gather. So much so he has contracted to take on several more hectares of fallow ponds some distance away from his current location. At any rate, I put my hand up for 20 kilos of alimango from his first harvest, and he had them airfreighted to Cebu for us to use in the test kitchens…
First up, a baked crab recipe with lots of garlic, butter, olive oil and lemon juice. It’s a personal favorite of mine, so easy to do, and it really tastes delicious. I have an old recipe for it in the blog, here. Folks at the office enjoyed it, but I think it rated third of all three recipes we tried with the crab bounty.
Next up, we used the crab in some crab with sotanghon served in claypots. This was a huge hit with the crew, and a little crab goes a long way… the noodles are the delicious filler that sop up all the crab flavor that would have otherwise escaped somehow. An recipe for this dish, here. Excellent with lots of rice, in true pinoy fashion, to have both noodles and rice in one mouthful. :)
Finally, the absolute crowd favorite by a mile was the chill crab a la Marketman, old recipe here. This finger-licking, lip-smacking recipe has rarely failed to please. Thankfully, we used the most amount of crab for this preparation. Overall, the crab tasted wonderful, though a few were thinner than we would have liked (not in the overfed category)… but subsequent harvests have seen them get better and better by the month. We would love to serve either his bangus and/or crab at our restaurants in Manila (easier transport) in the future, as the idea of cooking and serving what was raised on family property just seems so right.