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Alimango vs. Alimasag: What’s the Difference?

Alimango vs. Alimasag: What’s the Difference?

If you’re like some people, you’ve probably reached adulthood before realizing that there are different types of crabs in the Philippines. Growing up, you might’ve thought that it was a preference of one tita to use the word alimasag while another prefers alimango. We’re here to tell you that these crabs are two completely different crabs. The alimasag is also known as a blue swimming crab while the alimango is known as a mud crab. Both are two of the more popular crab species used in Filipino cooking leading to a bit of confusion.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily distinguish between the two. We’ll talk about the differences between their sizes, their meat (it’s texture and flavors), and how they’re best used in cooking, amongst other distinguishing factors. Consider yourself an expert in the alimango vs alimasag conversation after this!

Alimango vs. Alimasag: How do they look?


Alimango are large crabs that are sold in the market at weights of 500 grams to 1 kg per crab. Compare this to the smaller alimasags that typically needs 3-5 pieces before weighing 1 kg. The legs and pincers of the alimango are also larger in proportion to its body than that of an alimasag.


The alimango has a more solid color that ranges between gray to dark brown. The alimasag on the other hand is speckled with blue and white against brown shells.

Alimango vs. Alimasag: How do they taste?

The alimasag is usually softer and has a more delicate texture compared to alimango. It’s known for its sweet and delicate flavor that people love. Alimango, on the other hand, has a firmer and denser texture that tastes rich and flavorful. People particularly love eating the meaty claws of an alimango.

Alimango vs. Alimasag: How can we use them in cooking?

Alimasag, given its sweet and delicate flavor, is best used in recipes that highlight just that. It’s frequently used in soups, stews, and stir-fries. There are creative ways of eating alimasag too and one of our favorites is this Pinais na Alimasag Recipe using Knorr Ginataang Gulay Recipe Mix. We love the tropical interplay of flavors and the presentation is on point too!

Alimango, on the other hand, is great for dishes that require more crab meat. Some people love eating them straight from the boil but you can also use them in dishes that require grilling or steaming. They’re also great flavor sponges when cooked in flavorful sauces such as in this Garlic Crabs in Coconut Milk and Noodles recipe.

Now that you know the differences between alimango and alimasag, why not try buying some and making your favorite crab dishes at home. You’ll be surprised at the difference in flavor between the same recipe when using two different kinds of crabs. Try it and gain another valuable skill in the kitchen – knowing the right crab to use for specific recipes.

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