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Tropical Cooking with Travel Man: 8th Main Dish - Savory Crab

Updated on August 4, 2012

Crabs are often the specialties of many seafood restaurants.

Crabs are always included in the regional cuisines of tropical nations, like Philippines. Hundreds (more than 800) of species thrive in land, freshwater, and the world's oceans, mostly in tropical and semi-tropical countries.

Wet markets always offer fresh catch of wild or cultured crabs, like the mud crabs (usually cultured) or sea crabs, ranging from small to big sizes.

You can choose female crabs (with wide abdomen) for its succulent roe or eggs or settle for male crabs for lower presence of cholesterol.

As my latest offering in my tropical cooking, I will be sharing with you how to cook a savory crab dish. We usually stewed it here with coconut milk and added vegetables (like spinach or swamp cabbage or with yellow squash and string beans) or just sprinkle it with salt in a covered pan.

Note: Here's what you should remember with this dish. Crabs have 71 to 85 calories and no dietary fiber or carbohydrates. They provide 15g of high-quality protein, which represents 30 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.

It is also rich in vitamin B12 that reduces risk on cardiovascular disease.

It has traces of minerals, like zinc, copper, iron, potassium and selenium that are needed for energy production of our body, plus the formation of connective tissues and synthesis of protein and neurotransmitters in our brain.

Photo Credit: Travel Man (aka Ireno Alcala)
Photo Credit: Travel Man (aka Ireno Alcala)
Photo Credit: Travel Man (aka Ireno Alcala)
Photo Credit: Travel Man (aka Ireno Alcala)

Please rate my Savory Crab!

5 stars from 2 ratings of Savory Crab

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves 5 people

How to cook the savory crab.

  1. PREPARATION: Boil crab first for 5 minutes, then drain. Separate arms, then cut into bit-size portions. Cut spices (onion, garlic, ginger).
  2. In a pan, boil coconut milk with spices in medium fire on gas stove for 5 minutes. Add the crab, then simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach. Salt and pepper to taste.


  • 250 grams sea crab, boiled, arms separated, body cut into 4 parts
  • 20 grams spinach leaves, separated, washed clean
  • 1/4 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bulb onion, red, medium, sliced
  • 10 grams ginger, sliced, julliened
  • 500 grams coconut milk, freshly extracted with little amount of water
  • salt, rock (not iodized), to taste
  • pepper, dash, to taste
  • pan, for stewing
  • spoon, wooden
Photo Credit: Travel Man (aka Ireno Alcala
Photo Credit: Travel Man (aka Ireno Alcala
One of the newly discovered crab species, Insulamon palawanense, which is bright purple in color. (Photo Credit: Seckenberg Research Institute)
One of the newly discovered crab species, Insulamon palawanense, which is bright purple in color. (Photo Credit: Seckenberg Research Institute)

Crab update

If you would want to travel in my country, you should taste the new crab dish featuring blue crab.

Four new species of crab that sport some wild colors have been discovered near the Philippine island of Palawan.

But their existence in Calamian islands are threatened by the mining activities in the peninsula.

With close supervision of Dr. Hendrik Freitag of Seckenberg, they are now successfully propagating this new added crab variety that is only endemic in the country, especially in Palawan.

Other ways on how to catch and cook edible crabs

When I was a child, I was warned by my mother not to play with crabs on the creek or brook, which she used to wash our clothes.

Catching crabs are not so easy with the clumsy hands I had during my childhood. I usually had this catch net my father made so that I can easily bring them home.

Freshwater crabs (smaller ones) and mud crabs can be catched with special crab traps.

With just the right amount of rock salt, you can cook handful of crabs on the pan.Cover it so that none will escape from it.

If you live in the mountains, hunting for cave or coconut crabs are often the other source of income of the farmers.

Or while enjoying a walk at the seashore, smaller crabs will hide in the holes where some big ones are waiting for you to discover.

Catch it, carefully, then cook it easily!


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Thelma Alberts: Thank you for appreciating my effort at my Tropical JOE's kitchen. I'm crossing my fingers that you'll find the right ingredients. :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Yummy! I would love that for dinner tomorrow. I hope I can find some. Thanks for reminding me this awesome food my mother used to cook when she was still alive. Thanks for sharing and pinned.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Ely Maverick: I'm elated with your remark, Sir. Thank you for appreciating my little contribution here on HubPages. :D

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @thesailor: Yes, you can. It all comes in handy (lol!) Kamayin (Use your hands) mo na pare!

    • Ely Maverick profile image

      Ely Maverick 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful Archipelago of the Philippines

      Let me taste it, son. It's so enticing just looking at it. You know your craft well. Thank you for sharing our Filipino cuisine.

    • thesailor profile image


      6 years ago from Seven Seas

      It's a complete meal, already. With just a little amount of rice, I'll savor it with my clean bare hands.

      Bon apetit!!!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: Thanks! It's suited for a sumptuous tropical lunch. Wash your hands thoroughly and you can eat it without the usual utensils (spoon and fork) for you to enjoy the food.

    • earthbound1974 profile image


      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Awesome! It makes my mouth watery just looking at your Savory Crab.

      Rated it up!


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