19 Oct2007

If “naked” crab cakes are not your thing, this recipe for rellenong alimasag is another option. Either way, they are both good choices for the upcoming holiday meals… Enjoy, again!


In some western markets, very good lump crab meat is sold by the pound for relatively exhorbitant prices. But when you have to steam and extract crab meat yourself, you rell2realize the cost of pre-peeled crab meat is probably well justified… The first step to a delicious rellenong alimasag is obviously a lot of freshly steamed and cleanly picked crab meat. I plan on about two and a half whole crabs to make one well-stuffed shell. If you are preparing your own crab meat, steam the alimasag for 12 or so minutes until cooked and cool them in the shell for an hour or so before picking the flesh. Set aside the nicest crab shells for eventual stuffing. I like the larger alimasag shells so that the individual servings are substantial rather than the airy thin servings you tend to get in restaurants… Some folks suggest leaving the claws and legs on and only picking the “white” meat from the main body…the reason being this would make a better looking crustacean when cooked and plated…I find that too much of a bother.

To make, sauté some chopped onions in some vegetable oil. Add some chopped garlic and chopped tomatoes. Add the crab meat. Add any herbs that seem to make sense, I added wansoy, chopped rell3jalapeno peppers,green onions and lots of salt and freshly ground black pepper. I did not add ground meat as some like to do. I did not add fillers like breadcrumbs, bread cubes, etc. Stir until just cooked and cool slightly. Stuff the crab shells well until they form a tight mound on the shell. Brush with some lightly beaten egg to form a binder on the surface of the crab meat. Heat up a pan with an inch or two deep of vegetable oil and put on medium high heat. Once hot, carefully put the rellenong crab into the oil with shell side up and fry until a nice golden brown color is reached. Turn over briefly if the shell was not submerged completely in hot fat. Some folks recommend breadcrumbs on top of the egg wash but I find that the breadcrumbs sometimes burn and turn black before the crab is properly heated through.

I didn’t do it on this batch of rellenong alimasag but I can see the addition of bacon and or pancetta as a possible variation. Also, parsley, basil, dill would also be interesting. rell4The key is to key a lot of crab packed into the serving so you know exactly what the main ingredient is. The additional items are just to enhance the flavor of crab…don’t overdo the onions, garlic or tomatoes. I served the rellenong crab with a salad of avocados, tomatoes, green beans and artichokes with a vinaigrette dressing. I was trying to convince myself that this qualified for a protein/vegetable South Forbes Diet dish but who was I joking. Throw on some mayonnaise mixed with ketchup and lemon and I was on the road to Crestor cholesterol pill heaven. Served with a wedge of lemon, the entire dish was really good. I don’t have this often as I find the whole process of extracting crab meat tedious. I gave up on the western plating and added some steamed rice and tomato ketchup to finish off the SECOND crab shell that I ate that lunch!



  1. nina says:

    yummy, yummy!

    Oct 19, 2007 | 5:55 pm


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  3. Teresa says:

    I love crabs myself. It’s just a shame a lot of people are quite allergic to it and that’s including my kids. That’s why I stopped cooking crabs at home and only have it when eating out. How I wish i could do those rellenong alimasag at home. How I wish….

    Oct 19, 2007 | 7:29 pm

  4. sue says:

    sarap naman yan MM.hay nagutom tuloy ako.

    Oct 19, 2007 | 7:36 pm

  5. Apicio says:

    Ah tortang alimasag, my idea of food luxe (if done per above, even more pleasing than lobster thermidor because the morsels of alimasag meat are far sweeter and more tender than cooked lobster flesh), Chesapeake crabcakes, even the scruciatingly pickier than lobster bisque crab bisque, these are the images that will pass in review at my life’s terminus and most likely to snatch me back from the grim reaper’s clutch.

    Oct 19, 2007 | 7:37 pm

  6. mikel says:

    the crab cakes with rice & ketchup(with tabasco) is just up my alley! sadly, i only had prosciutto, tomatoes, gouda & bread for lunch :-(

    Oct 19, 2007 | 9:03 pm

  7. khonz says:

    Nakakagutom naman tong site mo…at ang sasarap ng nila :)

    Oct 19, 2007 | 9:29 pm

  8. Maria Clara says:

    That is my breed of rellenong alimasag no fillers and carnivorous meat!

    Oct 20, 2007 | 12:39 am

  9. chunky says:

    “I gave up on the western plating and added some steamed rice and tomato ketchup to finish off the SECOND crab shell that I ate that lunch!” Hahaha! Di mo na natiis no, MM?
    The way you described the process made me feel so tired…I don’t think I will ever, ever try picking the flesh off the crab. You are right in saying the cost of pre-picked crab meat is well justified. I can’t seem to find Old Bay seasoning in the supermarkets. May I ask where you bought yours? Thanks.

    Oct 20, 2007 | 2:12 am

  10. clett says:

    When I really really really crave for crabs and don’t want the tiresome picking of crab meat from the shell I just go to a restaurant called G & M Crabcakes in Maryland and feast on their crabcakes. Its really well worth the price and the trip.

    Oct 20, 2007 | 11:31 pm

  11. jeff says:

    just came back from new orleans and they also serve rellenong alimasag but it is cremier in texture.. and also they use aluminum foil shaped like crab shells..

    Oct 21, 2007 | 3:07 pm

  12. gay says:

    Nakakatakam naman…

    Nov 3, 2007 | 1:42 pm

  13. zeph says:

    I go completely crazy over crabmeat and your torta simply rocks MM!

    Nov 7, 2007 | 1:07 pm

  14. Imeon says:

    Favorite ko rin ang crab…sa sobrang favorite ko parang di ko na kayang maghintay na himayin at lutuin uli siya for a different dish…meron ba kayo ma-suggest na bilihin ng fresh na crabmeat…d2 lang me sa Pasig..thanks.

    Dec 6, 2007 | 4:46 pm

  15. lui says:

    a very tasty dish indeed. do not bother to add any other meats or “extenders” to this. just crabs. just the way they do it in Malabon.freezes well too( raw).

    Mar 13, 2009 | 5:13 am


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