Rellenong Alimango, or Stuffed Crab, is a show-stopping appetizer worth the effort. This stuffed crab filled with crab meat and veggies is perfect for a party or for a special date night.
I know my job as a food blogger is to sell you the recipes I post here at Kawaling Pinoy, but I have to admit that rellenong alimango is not my favorite way to prepare crabs. First of all, making stuffed crabs is a very tedious process. Secondly, crabs are not exactly cheap, and you’re lucky if you even get a cupful of crab meat after picking out the shells and cartilage.
Still, when I want something fancy for special occasions, this Filipino-style stuffed crab is my go-to dish. It makes a tasty appetizer that goes perfectly with an ice-cold beer or an impressive main dish for a special dinner.
- Alimango- crabs with large, fat claws and smooth, evenly-colored shells. They’re also known as mud or black crabs and live in freshwater. You can also use alimasag or blue crab.
- Water- for pre-cooking crabs
- Butter- for sauteing; adds a creamy taste.
- Salt and pepper- seasonings
- Onion and garlic- these aromatics enhance the flavor
- Green onions and red bell pepper- adds color and texture.
- Mayonnaise- adds creamy flavor. You can also substitute cream cheese.
- Bread crumbs- extend the filling and act as a binder. You can also use Panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch, crushed cracker crumbs for a more buttery flavor, or boiled and mashed potatoes as a creamier alternative.
- Lemon- brightens the dish with a touch of tang and mellows the "fishy" taste.
Rellenong alimango cooking steps
Filipino-style stuffed crabs are traditionally fried in hot oil until golden and crisp. To make things a little simpler, I like to bake mine. They’re equally delicious!
- Scrub the crabs with a brush to remove dirt or grime, and rinse under cold running water. Carefully place in a pot of boiling salted water and cook until color changes. You can also steam them if you prefer. Drain well and allow to cool to touch.
- Carefully remove the upper top shells and clean well under cold running water. Pat dry and set aside. Pick through the shells, cartilage, and claws to extract the crab meat and set aside.
- Saute onions, garlic, and bell peppers in butter until softened. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before adding the rest of the filling. Combine crab meat, onion-bell pepper mixture, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, and green onions in a bowl. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the mixture and stuff it into each crab shell. Arrange shells in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until heated through and the tops are golden.
Breadcrumbs act as a binder and extender. If the amount of crab meat is not enough to fill up the shells abundantly and you prefer not to add too much breadcrumbs, you can supplement it with canned or fresh lump crabmeat from your supermarket.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with crab shells?
Don't throw away the shells, claws, and cartilage after you pick through the meat and turn them into a flavorful seafood stock! Place in a potful of water with carrots, onions, celery, and a choice of herbs and aromatics such as peppercorns, bay leaves, and thyme. Simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes, strain, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
What to look for when buying fresh crabs?
Choose crabs with a sweet smell and without any sour or rancid smell. They should feel firm and bouncy, not soft, mushy, or slimy.
How to fry rellenong alimango?
To cook on the stovetop instead of baking, heat about 2 inches deep of oil in a wide pan. Carefully place the stuffed crabs in a single layer with the shell side down. Fry, regularly spooning the hot oil over the filling, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until heated and golden brown.
How to serve and store
- Enjoy them as an appetizer or main dish with steamed rice and catsup for dipping!
- Wrap the stuffed crabs individually with aluminum foil and place them in a resealable bag or an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and place in the oven with the foil. Reheat at 350 F for about 10 to 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 F. Open the foil and bake uncovered during the last few minutes for a golden and crispy top.
Looking for more ways to enjoy crab? Try this ginataang alimasag!
- 4 pieces crabs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- crab cracker tool
- Under cold running water, wash and scrub crabs to remove grit and debris. Drain well.
- In a large pot over medium heat, bring about 1 quart of salted water to a boil. Lower crabs into the water, cover, and cook until color changes to red. Drain well and allow to cool to touch.
- Carefully remove the upper top shells. Under cold running water, clean well and pat dry. Set aside.
- Pick through the shells, cartilage, and claws to extract the crab meat. Set aside.
- In a pan over medium heat, heat butter until it begins to melt. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers and cook until softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- In a bowl, combine crab meat, onion/bell pepper mixture, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, and green onions. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
- Divide mixture and stuff into each crab shells. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 375 F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and tops are golden. Serve hot.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”