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Filipino style stuffed crabs

This is another recipe I cannot personally taste and give you a verdict, as its crab, yep I am not a great lover of that the same as fish.

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Strange though in that I live in Singapore, and I don’t actually mind chili crab.

Anyways enough about me – to the recipe.

I made this one up having chatted to some Filipinos. I believe if you were to compare, it is sort of a Rellenong Alimango – basically stuffed crab.

This is enough for 4 people, and is sort of in-between a beginning and big stuff dish. You’ll need:

  • 4 small stone crabs, or a similar crab (but stone are by far best) 2;
  • 6 finely chopped garlic cloves;
  • 4 finely chopped small red onions;
  • 1 half cup of breadcrumbs, any will do although I used Japanese;
  • 500oz ground pork, or as I did I took a pork fillet and finely chopped it;
  • A good pinch of both salt and pepper;
  • 4 beaten eggs; and
  • A deep frying pan filled with about 3 inches of good cooking oil.

Not for the squeamish, but boil the stone crabs for about 10-15 minutes; they’ll turn that lovely shade of pink when done. Don’t worry re undercooking too much as we’re going to fry them too. If you want to be humane, then keep them on ice just before boiling to slow their heart down to a coma state.

Once done you need to prize off the top shell. I do this by putting a knife in to the join of the top to bottom shell; you’ll see it at the back, almost hinge like. Then gradually wiggle your knife and the whole top shell should just come away. Do NOT break the legs of the body part. Once the shell comes off, scrape all the meat in to a bowl including the head fat (the brown stuff – don’t worry it is tasty and actually real good for you – almost like liver).

Then add in all the other ingredients to the bowl, so onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, pork, salt & pepper and approximately half the beaten egg. Mix this together well, hopefully with the egg binding it to a sort of paste. Then spoon the mix back in to the empty top shells, making sure you push in to the corners until it is flat to the surface. Pour the rest of the egg in to a shallow bowl and then coat the stuffed shells on both sides with this egg wash – ready for frying.

Heat the oil until popping hot. Lay the crab shells in the oil shell side up – we’re recooking the crab, but starting to cook the pork. If the oil is hot enough it should start to fry, crackle and bubble immediately. Leave this for about 5 minutes, then with tongs turn it over to the other side and again leave for about 5-10 minutes. Check regularly as you want the mix to cook but of course not burn. When it browns you are very likely finished.

Use my “tip of the trade” and get a cold knife and stick through the mince mix until you hit the bottom of the shell. Then touch that knife above your top lip and feel if it is hot all along. If yes it is cooked, if there are cold areas you will need it to go back in for a few more minutes frying.

Now let’s get back to your crab legs.

No I am not saying that personally you have legs like a crab, just that we need now to go back to the cooked legs.

Take the now cooked and stuffed shells and place carefully back on top of the legs so it looks like a whole crab again.

You can see this clearly in the picture.

I also sprinkled over a little toasted coconut to make it look pretty. That is it finished. I served this on a nice long plate with 2-3 Kalamansi limes, or any limes quartered so you can add some zest and zing to this dish – personal taste of course.

I would suggest serving with a crab fork for reach to get in to the nooks and crannies if you have them.

Bibs are optional – I leave that to you.

Salamat!

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