Inherited Cuisine “Tortang Alimasag (Crab Omelette)”
We love seafood and there are so many recipes across the world. Different cultures, different tastes, different ways of cooking and all is unique in each country. I have grown to love cooking in my spare time ever since I joined the community. Showcasing the food that our country has to offer in something I have enjoyed doing. Today I will share with you one of my favorite dishes. Not only that it is a recipe that has been passed down to us by our great grandmother. If you are a foodie and especially a seafood lover. Join me today as I share with you a dish that is humble yet worth remembering.
Inherited Cuisine “Tortang Alimasag (Crab Omelette)”
Our local market offers the fresh meat, seafood and vegetables daily. Whenever we cook we head out to the market to get our ingredients and today we are looking for crabs. There are always fresh crabs everyday and there are two species which are common in our area. The most common is the blue crab which you would see shortly. If you aren’t experienced in buying in this wet market you may not get the best deal. I myself would not know where to buy as a lot of sellers seems to offer the same price.
Good thing my wife knows where to buy as she has a favorite seller. Often she is given a cheap price and sometimes given and extra piece or two. Let’s go around a bit and let me show you some of the local fish that we have. These stalls offers a cheaper price as they do not pay much unlike those stalls in the inner part of the wet market. I am not sure how much they are paying for the small spot on the side or how much they earn. But according to some of my friends who knows some vendors, it is a good business and a decent way of living.
I do not know all the names of the fishes here but we will get there soon. That pink fish is called Bisugo and is a very tasty fish. It is best cooked in a little bit of water,vinegar and some salt with long chili. The ones on the front is called Kabayas and best fried. Well enough with the fish for now and let’s get those crabs.
Here is my wife’s favorite seller and there are still some crabs left at this time which was around 9:00 am. There are also a lot of mantis shrimps today.
We bought just half a kilo of crabs which was worth 125 pesos but since she knows my wife. It was just sold to us for 100 pesos or around $1.90 not a bad deal.
These blue crabs are very common in the Philippines and can be found almost anywhere. Another common crab here is the local mud crab which is more expensive but has more meat in them. I’ll share some photos some other time.
We have our crabs and now we just need some vegetables. These are red onions which we are not going to use. I just wanted to share them here. We are going to use the regular white onions which we still have some at home.
Tomatoes are also a main ingredient in our dish. Any tomato would do just don’t use the green ones.
Some red bell peppers to add color and flavor to the dish.
We would also need some eggs around 3 or 4 pieces but will will buy a dozen since we are already here.
Eggs varies in prices the cheap and small ones cost around $.07 each. The bigger ones cost around $.15 each.
Here’s our crabs and they are still moving and be sure to clean them thoroughly.
There are six pieces and should be enough for this dish. My aunt usually cooks this dish whenever there are left over crabs from lunch. Well, today all will be cooked for the crab omelette.
Usually, I cook out using the wood stove, but since the weather is very unpredictable these days. We decided to cook inside for a change.
First step is to cook your crabs. Just add a little salt and water then cover. Put the stove on high and leave for around 15-20 minutes.
Once they are cooked its shell would turn to orange, but be sure to turn them over to make sure the ones on the top is also cooked.
Now let me ask you. Do you know how to distinguish a male crab from a female crab? Some of you might already know,but to those who doesn’t. Let me show you how to tell them apart. If you would turn them over, you would notice a flap that is triangular in shape. This one is a male crab with the pointy flap.
The female crab on the other hand has a more rounded flap a the bottom. They say female crabs are more delicious than the males ones. The female has more aligue which is crab roe. It is the orange stuff inside the crab which is very tasty and high in cholesterol too, so be careful.
There has been a sudden turn of events as I told my aunt that I was going to cook Tortang Alimasag. She told me to let the experts do it, lol. Well she is the one who always prepares this dish so I guess I would need a back up, and leave the cooking today with my aunt.
So first things first which is the hardest part, the de shelling of the crab. I will help out with this process and to speed up our cooking. First you need to remove the top shell, opening from the side first.
Underneath the shell you would see the crab roe which is the orange stuff.
Look at that crab roe and if you haven’t tried it. It is very tasty and you should taste it at least once.
After a couple of minutes we were almost done. Removing the meat even from the tiny legs so nothing is wasted.
All done and does not look much coming from six pieces of crab, but it is more than enough.
Here is what’s left of the crabs that has been picked clean with all the meat.
As a special treat save the top shells as we will be cooking it in an extra special way. Just like how my grandma used to prepare it. You just need to cut the sharp pointy part on the sides and kitchen scissors would do the trick.
For our vegetables
- Three small white onions
- Two medium sized tomatoes
- One red bell pepper
Just chop them all up in small pieces and you could do anyway you like. But remember it has to be in small pieces.
Same for the onions chop them in small pieces.
My aunt chops them length wise first then chops them in small pieces.
We used four small eggs and I think it would be more than enough.
Beat the eggs thoroughly and set aside.
Heat up the pan and pour in some oil, as we are getting ready to saute the vegetables.
Put in the tomatoes first and saute for a minute or two.
Next put in the chopped onions and at this point burst of flavor and aroma would fill your kitchen.
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly for around 2-3 minutes.
My aunt wants to add some color and natural coloring is the way to go. Just add a little water to annatto seeds. You would get the nice red orange deep color.
If you want to know more about the Annatto feel free to check The Lipstick Tree
Pour in the mixture using a strainer to get that color in the vegetables.
Stir again for another 2-3 minutes.
You would know if it is ready once you get this texture and color.
Time to add in the crab meat in the pan and be sure that the meat gets separated completely.
Add in the chopped red bell pepper and again mix thoroughly.
Grind in some fresh black peppers with our trusty pepper grinder.
It’s ready and now we just need to let it cool down a bit.
Once cooled pour in half of the beaten egg mixture.
Mix all the ingredients completely but make sure it is cooled down before pouring it in. Pouring in the egg while hot would cook the egg and we do not want that yet.
Now we will use the shells and spoon in the mixture inside. Making sure it is completely filled up.
Here are the first three and we will start cooking.
Pour in some oil in the same pan, that we used and cook them upside down first. A trick to harden the top faster, spoon in some hot oil on the top while cooking.
Flip them over to cook evenly and just turn over again to check if they are ready.
We still have a lot of left over mixture, so add in some flour on the eggs.
Mix well making sure all the flour lumps are dissolved and add the rest of the crab mixture in the mix.
Fry it like a pancake and have some crab patties. This is how it is normally cooked by the way, which are sold in restaurants and food stalls. Although if you would be buying outside it would be a bit expensive. With a small piece would cost 50 pesos or $1.00 each.
You can check the one that we bought from our Breakfast at the Market
If you have a small pan it would be best to use it as you would get a rounder shape. My aunt happens to have this tiny pan just for cooking patties and omelettes.
Here’s our dish that quite takes a lot of work and love. But from all that process out comes a dish that is unique and bursting with crab flavor. One of my favorite dish that I would never get tired of eating. Perfect with fried rice and personally I use some ketchup with it while eating with a dash of hot sauce. All ingredients are easily accessible for everyone, a bit tedious to make, but I assure you it is all worth it. I do hope you give it a try and taste a cuisine that has been passed down to us with love. Again, I would like to thank my aunt for taking the spotlight today for a change and preparing us a delicious lunch.
Thanks for the little time that you spend with me today. I do appreciate the company and please do leave some comments. Let me know what you think and let’s talk about seafood.
Hope to see to see you again soon and where ever you are have a good evening or morning.
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All photos are original and taken with
Lumix GX85 and 12-32 mm