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Rellenong Alimasag (Stuffed Crabs)

Growing up in Calapan City, the beautiful capital of Oriental Mindoro where access to fresh seafood is not a problem, I grew up loving all kinds of them --- from fish, prawns, crabs, crablets, squid, mussels, oysters, etc. But as a kid, I had difficulty eating crabs. I was always having a hard time getting the crab meat out, so my mom always helped me with it. Dinner always took longer than usual when we're eating boiled crabs. To make it easier to eat, she would sometimes make it into rellenong alimasag (stuffed crabs). She would remove meat from the crabs, saute it with some vegetables, refill on the top shell and then fry. The difficult part in preparing this dish is collecting the meat from the crab shells and claws including meat from the legs, but she would patiently do it saying that it's all worth the effort. It has been and always will be my favorite crab dish. It's too time consuming to make but it's all worth it considering that it looks so festive and it allows you to enjoy eating crabs hassle free.

One place here in Texas that reminds me of where I grew up is Texas City. Located in Galveston County, it is part of the mainland Texas Gulf Coast and is the closest place where we can get and eat the freshest seafood, so I really love going there! The last time we went there two weeks ago, Ryan's aunt bought some live crabs, boiled them and served them for her son's birthday dinner. She saved some for us to take home, and last night, I made them into relleno. It took me about thirty minutes to get all the crab meat out from 8 crabs. It wasn't easy but like what my mom used to say, it's all worth it! We all enjoyed dinner!

  • 8 blue crabs, cooked
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 pc. tomato, diced
  • 1 pc. potato, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 pc. Jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 stalks green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs (This is optional. I just love adding panko bread crumbs for extra crisp.)
  • vegetable oil, for sauteing and frying

1. Collect all the meat out of the crabs including meat from its claws and legs. Set aside. Save the top shells, keep them in the refrigerator while cooking the filling.
2. In a skillet, sauté garlic and onions in vegetable oil until onion is almost translucent. Add minced tomato and chopped potato. By the time the tomato is all mushy, the potato will also be cooked. 

3. Add crab meat and saute for a minute. Add fish sauce, carrots, green onions and jalapeño pepper. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste. Keep stirring until ingredients are well combined. Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool.

4. In a large bowl, place the mixture and beaten eggs. Mix well. Fill each crab shell with the mixture, making sure it is compacted. Place the stuffed crabs cavity side up on a large plate. Sprinkle panko bread crumbs on top of each.

4. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil on high then set the heat on medium-high. Fry the crabs top shell side down first for around 2 minutes. Ladle some of the hot oil on top to set the filling. Flip them and cook the other side for about a minute. 

5. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel lined plate. Serve hot with ketchup or spicy vinegar. (My daughters love it with Filipino Banana Ketchup while Ryan and I enjoy it more with spicy vinegar.)


  1. Ooooh this looks totally worth the effort. I love crab and the flavours in your dish are just gorgeous. You've just set off a crab craving!

  2. woooh.. yummy! you never fail to amaze me mam!

  3. Yummm ... I haven't eaten crabs for a while. This is getting me drooling! I've always had a problem cooking live things so I guess I'll probably have to get someone to cook them for me first before I try my hand at this ... or have them at the restaurants. Or ... I may just drop by for a visit :D

  4. Oh what a delicious and festive looking recipe! I think it would work perfectly here for our Maryland crabs! : )

  5. Oh my...this is one of my favorite dish from the Chinese restaurant! You make it looks so simple I gotta try making them at home soon! :)

  6. I have the same problem with crabs... so this is a dish that I would absolutely enjoy! It is a great idea and it looks so yummy! Mom's recipes are the best! <3

  7. Oh, Tina, these really do look wonderful! How I want one!!! I probably wouldn't make it from whole crabs, but would love to try that stuffing with crabmeat from the fishmonger. I'm so glad I stopped by this morning!

  8. You know what, this is why I love Asian food - there are just so many variations of eating crab! This looks so delicious. I hate taking crab meat out and my dad used to do it for me. Guess who's doing it for me now? My husband!!! I'm STILL lazy and spoiled! LOL. I'd be super happy if this is in front of me. Very, very nice dish Tina!

  9. I am so missing this dish and my mom used to make it for us. I haven't tried cooking this dish myself because I can't find a good recipe. I will try yours, Tina. Thank you for nice looking rellenong alimasag.

    ~ ray ~

  10. Such a great recipe. My husband would love it if I made these for him sometime soon. I think I will! Thanks for sharing

  11. Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments! Sorry I can't get back to you one by one. I'm sooo busy this week! But pls know that I really appreciate all the kind words! :-*
    You all have a great weekend!

  12. This is really not an easy dish to cook! Esp when you've to get ALL the meat outta the crabs including the legs part!
    I love crabs and I just love to get all the meat out by myself even when my hubby wants to do it for me! lol
    Trinke is like me, don't like people to help us on this and almost every food that needs to remove shells bcoz it won't be as tasty anymore. Trisia is like daddy and bro-in-law (hubby's elder bro), the lazy ones, they rather not to eat than to remove the shells/bones etc...
    I'll try this yummy dish if I'm not lazy to get meat outta more than 8 crabs in a go! Hahaha :P

  13. I love crabs and I miss them loads! Your relleno looks so yummy my mouth is watering! -Elaine G.

  14. you have exactly the recipe and procedure of Panlasang pinoy.are you copying their recipe and put it in your blog?

    1. Hello, Mr./Ms. Anonymous! I always give proper credit when I use recipes from other sites. If you don't see one, it means it is my own version of a certain recipe. I grew up in the Philippines with my parents' cooking, so basically, I know how to cook Filipino food. If you are like me, you would know that Filipino dishes vary from region to region...but the basic ingredients and manner of cooking them are basically the same.