Matoutou, also known as Matete de Crabes, is a traditional French Caribbean dish made with crabmeat, mashed green plantains, and spices. It is typically served with rice and beans, and it is a popular dish for special occasions.
In this blog post, I will share an unconventional way to make Matoutou that is sure to please even the most discerning palate. This recipe uses a variety of spices and herbs that give the crabcakes a unique flavor profile. The result is a dish that is both flavorful and satisfying.
If you’re observing Lent, this is the perfect recipe to start your seafood Friday rituals. Matoutou, or Matete de Crabes, is a marvelous dish from the Caribbean that is pronounced just as it is spelled. It is typically made with a type of crab called Crabe de terre, or Cardisoma guanhumi, which is a white land crab that lives on the coast of North America.
The ingredients you will need for the Matoutou
- Canned Jumbo Lump Crabmeat claws are preferred if you cannot find fresh crab meat.
- Lemon/lime juice
- Shallots sliced
- Fresh Thyme
- Ground Black pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Juicy tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Whole Cloves
- Bay Leaves
- Hot pepper habanero or scotch bonnet, optional
- Cooked white rice
Instructions for the Matoutou recipe or Matete de Crabes
- Drain the liquid from the crabmeat, if any. Add lemon or lime juice and set aside.
- In a pot over medium-high heat, add oil. Add shallots, chives, garlic, parsley, tomatoes, cloves, salt, pepper, hot pepper (if using), and bay leaves. Cook for about 2 minutes or until softened.
- Add crabmeat and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring gently to avoid breaking up the crabmeat.
- Add cooked white rice and simmer for 4 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.
Alternatively, cook the rice in fish or crustacean broth for more flavor. You can also use seafood seasoning.
If using real crabs:
- Clean the crabs and douse them with lime juice (about 6 limes).
- Crush them slightly and place them in a large stewpot along with the oil, chives, shallots, tomatoes, juice of 2 limes, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, cloves, and seafood seasoning diluted in water.
- Cook for 15 minutes over high heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add hot pepper (if using).
- Let simmer for 30-40 minutes. Serve with cooked rice.
Notes and Tips
Store-bought packed crabmeat can sometimes be substituted for fresh crabmeat. If you don’t live in a country or state where fresh crabs are normally available, packages or containers of jumbo lump crabmeat sold in markets ready to use are a great substitution. However, I strongly recommend using real crabmeat instead of imitation crabmeat. The real stuff is worth the extra cost and will make a big difference in the flavor of your dish.
The first time I made this dish, I was surprised by the amount of hot pepper. I won’t lie, I drank so much ice-cold water that my belly was full of water and not food. I’ve learned to either not use any pepper and add my regular Haitian Pikliz or add very little hot pepper during cooking. My Pikliz definitely made it all good!
- Before cooking, you can dredge the patties in breadcrumbs for a more flavorful crust.
- You can substitute ripe plantains or sweet potatoes if you don’t have green plantains.
- You can also add other vegetables to the patties, such as corn, tomatoes, or zucchini.
- Serve the Matoutou with your favorite dipping sauce, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, or hot sauce.
For practicality, I’ve changed the recipe to use store-bought, ready-to-use packed jumbo lump crabmeat. For the hot pepper, you can either choose to remove it, leave it in, or add your own hot pepper to taste. Have fun eating it!
I hope you enjoy this unconventional recipe for Matoutou!
Here is my recipe for Matete de Crabes made the jumbo lump crabmeat with fresh herbs and spice.
- 8 ounces or 1 cup ready to use Jumbo Lump Crabmeat claws preferred
- 1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice
- 3 scallions
- ½ tablespoon chives finely chopped
- 2 medium size shallots sliced
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Fresh black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2-3 juicy tomatoes seeds removed and quartered
- 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper habanero or scotch bonnet, optional
- 2 cup cooked white rice
- Drain the liquid from the crabmeat if any, add the lemon or lime juice and set aside. In a pot under medium high heat, add oil. Add shallots, chives, garlic, parsley, tomatoes, cloves, salt, pepper, hot pepper if using and bay leaves. Cook for about 2 minutes and add crabmeat. Let mixture cook under medium to high heat for about 5 – 7 minutes stirring very gently not to break the crabmeat too much. Add cooked white rice and let simmer for 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Alternatively, cook the rice in a fish or crustacean broth for more flavors or use seafood seasoning.
- If using real crabs, you will need about 8 crabs
- Clean the crabs and douse with limejuice. (Will need about 6 limes) Crush them slightly and place in a large stewpot along with the oil, chives, shallots, tomatoes, juice of 2 limes, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, cloves, seafood seasoning diluted in water. Cook 15 minutes on high heat, season to taste with salt and pepper and add hot pepper. Let simmer for 30 – 40 minutes. Serve with cooked rice.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.
Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.
Originally published on February 20, 2015. Revised and updated.