Different bodies of water surround the Philippines: rivers, swamps, creeks, seas, and oceans make up about thirty percent of the geography of the nation. And these bodies of water are rich in aquatic life, which is the source of food and livelihood for many Filipino families.
One of the many kinds of seafood that Filipinos feast upon are crabs, and we have all sorts of crab species that can be consumed for food. And if there’s one unique innovation for crab recipes that people of all ages enjoy is the one we have for today. And if you’re not sure how to nail this delightful recipe, no worries because we got you on that.
Allow us to share the essential information that you need to know for you to cook the Best Crispy Crablets that are sure to win the hearts of your loved ones.
What is Crispy Crablets
Anything deep-fried instantly becomes a culinary delight, and we can all agree with that. The crunchy texture makes any deep-fried dish irresistible to eat. Coupled with the flavorful coating or batter, one can’t only say no to another serving of it.
And that’s the joy of eating Crispy Crablets, young crabs whose shells are not yet that tough, which makes them tender to the bite. These crablets are then marinated, usually in liquor, then dredged in flour or cornstarch, and deep-fried to crispy perfection. A mixture of vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and aromatics like chilies and chopped garlic is a perfect dip for this crunchy goodness.
Filipinos usually serve Crispy Crablets as appetizers or finger foods paired with beers or other liquors. Its fame as a delightful yet straightforward appetizer earned it a spot in the menus of roadside eateries and even formal dining restaurants in big cities.
The simplicity and the affordability of this exquisite recipe make it popular among the masses. And its availability all year long makes it one of the seafood recipes that are easy to procure.
Ways to Cook
The usual method of cooking Crispy crablet is relatively simple and straightforward. Once you are done coating the crablets in flour or whatever coating you prefer, just deep fry them in hot oil until golden-brown, and you’re good to go. But thanks to modern technology, cooking has never been easier. The advancement and innovations in cookwares give us many options which method will work best for us.
To give you an idea and some head start, we have a list of different ways to cook this recipe and see for yourself which suits your cooking style.
Stovetop cooking is always the go-to method of any cook. It’s affordable, simple to use, and is still available in any kitchen. It doesn’t need fancy buttons for it to work, no automated timers, and you simply have to rely on your cooking wits and senses.
However, there are a few innovations that have happened with this trusted kitchen equipment. During its glory days, the usual fuel or source of heat for this is LPG, followed by the electric powered. The latest improvement for the stovetop cooker is the induction type, which uses the heat transfer principle via electrical induction, which heats the pot or pan.
You can use whatever type of stovetop cooker you have at home, but for the pan or pot, make sure that it’s available to hold about half a liter of oil since you will deep fry the crablets. Marinate it in liquor marinade to remove the unpleasant smell of it, then coat them in seasoned flour.
Ensure that your cooking oil is boiling to ensure that the crablets will be cooked adequately and for you to have optimal results when cooking this recipe.
If there is one piece of kitchenware that’s making some noise in recent years, Air-fryer is the culprit. This piece of kitchen equipment lets you fry dishes without actually using large quantities of oil. That is why Air-fryer is the choice of people trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle.
Air-fryer works as the name is suggesting: frying using heated air which circulates inside the cookware. This cookware works this way; a heating mechanism is fixed on the upper part of the cookware with a fan that blows heated air throughout the fryer. This heated air works just like a typical fryer, without the oil.
Once you’ve marinated the crablets, the process is pretty simple, coat the pieces evenly in the dredging flour. Shake off the excess flour to avoid lumps in the final product. Then lightly coat the pan’s bottom with cooking spray or oil: this is just to prevent it from sticking together.
Make sure to preheat the air fryer for about five minutes to ensure an even cooking, then put the coated crablets into the frying tray and set the fryer to cook for about fifteen to twenty minutes.
Other Delicious Variants and Recipes of Crablets
This simple yet tasty dish is already good on its own. But Filipino cooks are genuinely creative, so there are multiple variants that you can also try to cook in your kitchen. And who knows, you might even be able to come up with your very own variant of Crispy Crablets.
Here are some well-known variants of this dish that may give you some ideas and inspiration for starters.
Buttered Crispy Crablets
Butter makes any dish more decadent and more savory; that is why chefs like to add them in steaks and sauces to give them a sheen and fuller flavor. Butter also helps in tenderizing meats and leaves a dairy taste.
For this variant, butter to the ingredients adds another layer of flavor to this already tasty dish. The process is relatively similar. Once you’ve coated the crablets in the flour, deep fry them until golden brown. Then on a separate pan, melt about three tablespoons of butter, then add finely chopped garlic to it.
Once the garlic gives off its scent, that’s the time to toss in the crablets to it. Keep sauteing for about three minutes until the crablets are well-coated with the butter.
Spicy dishes excite the appetite and make you want to eat more of it. And Filipino dishes have a fair share of spicy recipes that are best partnered with rice. Some even love to eat spicy finger foods with beer or alcoholic beverages.
That is why we also recommend that you try the spicy variant of the crispy crablets for a more adventurous take in this classic appetizer. You can simply add some chili powder into the dredging flour, that is, if you prefer a milder kick to your variant.
But for a more spicy version, you can saute the fried crablets in a pan of melted butter with chopped red chilies. This draws out the capsaicin from the chilies making the sauce even spicier.
Spicy Garlic Crablets
This is a more aromatic version of the spicy crablets with the addition of garlic. The procedure is the same as the original recipe. So coat and deep-fry it and set them aside to drain the excess oil.
Then on a separate pan, melt the butter and add in the finely chopped garlic and the chopped chilies. Keep sauteing until the garlic changes color. After that, toss the crablets into the glaze. Make sure to have crablets evenly coated with the sauce.
Crabs are called decapods, that’s because they have ten legs. And crabs are considered one of the best sources of dietary proteins. They are also rich in Omega-three fatty acids, which are suitable for the heart. So they are not just a joy to eat, but crabs are also beneficial for your health in moderate amounts.
Cooking is a journey, and as you go along with the journey of eating, you acquire skills and techniques which will help you become a better cook. To add to that culinary knowledge that you have, we want to share time-tested tips that can help you cook this recipe even better.
- Marinate the crablets in liquor and citrus fruits such as lemon or lime. This will remove the smell of the crabs.
- When choosing which crabs to use, look for crabs that smell like the ocean; this is an indicator of freshness.
If you encounter troubles while cooking this tasty and crispy recipe, do not you about grumbling. We got you covered, and we included some troubleshooting tips that can help you remedy these problems.
- If the crablets came out soggy, coat them again and re-fry them in hot oil in small batches. This ensures that the temperature of the oil is of optimal quality.
- If the crablets tend to be lackluster in flavor, sprinkle them with rock salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Best Serve With
Great dishes are best enjoyed with equally flavorful dishes: this makes the dining experience even more delightful and pleasurable. So we also have a list here of foods that are best served with Crispy Crablets.
Filipinos, whether young or old, are fond of pairing fried dishes with pickled recipes. For that reason, it only fits to pair up Crispy Crablets with atcharang papaya. The saltiness of it is balanced by the acidity and sweetness of the pickled fruit.
This creamy and rich salad and the carousel of its flavors and ingredients is an excellent compliment for the taste of the crablets. The saltiness of the latter highlights the richness of the salad.
- Suam na Mais
Chowders are on the list of ultimate comfort foods. The warmth and mild flavors of this classic dish are like an embrace on a cold morning. And Suam na Mais is just that; this chowder’s soft sweetness neutralizes the crablets’ saltiness.
Simple and typical dishes like Crispy Crablets don't need to be dull and boring. With a dose of creativity and passion, simple recipes like this can be elevated and made even better. And that is one of our goals in sharing with you the information for cooking Crispy Crablets.
For you to be able to replicate, innovate and someday come up with your very own variant of this simple yet delightful dish. And by now, we know that you are more than confident in cooking this seafood recipe at home. So until next time, happy cooking!
For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!
- 1 lb Crablets cleaned
- 3 tablespoon Gin or sherry optional
- 1 cup Cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
- 3 cups Cooking oil
- Place the crablets in a bowl then pour-in gin or sherry. Mix gently.
- Sprinkle salt and ground black pepper then mix well.
- Heat a frying pan or cooking pot and pour-in cooking oil.
- Dredge the crablets in cornstarch then deep fry until the texture becomes crispy.
- Remove from the pan and place in a plate lined with paper towel.
- Once excess oil drips-off completely, arrange in a serving plate and serve with spicy vinegar dip.
- Share and enjoy!