Two of my favorite Filipino bloggers recently featured crabs in their posts. It was sheer torture reading their posts, my only consolation is at that at least I know what they taste like ;D. I have eaten A LOT of the sweet curacha with coconut sauce and of course steamed alimango (mud crab). What we have here is the Maryland/Virginia blue crab which is a cousin, I think, of our alimasag, also called blue crab in the Philippines. My mother rarely bought blue crabs, she said they are not as meaty and tasty as the mud crabs. I myself don't buy crabs in their shells because only my daughter and I have the patience to eat them. I buy the canned lump crab meat from Indonesia, Thailand, or the Philippines and make crab cakes to eat with rice and as crab sandwich, or plain with vinegar and chile dipping sauce.
I bought a few blue crabs and prepared some with coconut and chile sauce, crab cakes and crab relleno. I also bought a few Alaska king crab legs which I have not tried before because they look freakingly ugly with their ipis (cockroach)-like spiky legs, they scare me. I steamed them and ate them with garlic infused butter and lemon juice. I did not like them at all, maybe because they were previoulsy frozen and did not taste fresh. Eh, nothing can equal alimango and curacha, period!:D
scary looking Alaska king crab legs
Speaking of crabs, I had a strange but funny encounter with them. Many many years ago I used to work as a domestic flight attendant and being one of the newbies I was stationed at Cebu. We fly to the Mindanao region, stay overnight in Zamboanga City once every 2 weeks, where I had those curachas. We also go to Cotabato City where I ate the biggest and tastiest mud crabs. I had a regular passenger whose family had crab and catfish farms in Cotabato City. One night after I got off the plane and was ready to board the company van to take us home, the driver informed me I had a tall can filled with live catfish in water and a dozen crabs tied together with palm fronds that the aforementioned passenger left for me as a gift. How he knew it was my off day the next day I never found out. It was very late, the housemaid was already in bed, and I did not know what to do with the fish and crabs. My friends and I left them on the kitchen table and went to bed. Early next morning the maid was laughing and making all sorts of racket, woke us up to tell us some of the crabs had "escaped". Two lazy or perhaps clueless crabs were still on the kitchen table, some were halfway through the living room floor and some were crawling through the weird perfectly round holes on the living room concrete walls. The holes were decorative or part of the design, which is the oddest thing. When we rented the house we were just concerned with the bedrooms and baths, we didn't care about the living room and kitchen because we were never there. We ate at hotels and restaurants, we never had a meal in that house, we never cooked. So we didn't mind those holes, they were not big enough even for a child to get through and we also never thought of criminal elements at the time. So we caught maybe 4 of the crabs trying to crawl out of the holes and 4 on the floor, unlucky bastards. I never got to eat either the crabs or the catfish (I didn't eat catfish then) because my friends and I already had planned to go out that day, then went to work the next day. The maid and the 3 pilots who shared the house with us told me they were fantastic!
1 pound lump crab meat
1 cup finely diced potato, optional
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium onion, finely minced
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 eggs, beaten
olive or grapeseed oil
- In a small skillet, fry the potatoes until light brown, set aside. In another skillet, heat 1 T oil and saute the garlic and onion for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cooked potatoes, salt and parsley and stir for 1 minute. In a bowl, mix the crab and potato mixture, add the eggs, mixing gently. Form into patties or fill crab shells. Heat oil in a large skillet and fry crab cakes or crab rellenos 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.