If you are not from Butuan City, it’s likely that you haven’t had the opportunity to try crabs prepared in this unique way. Buntaa is a Filipino dish made with Crabs are stuffed with fresh coconut and crab fat cooked in spiced coconut milk.

Buntaa is a Delicious Crab Dish from the Butuan City in Agusan del Norte in Mindanao, Philippines. If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll definitely want to try Buntaa, a delicious crab dish from the Philippines. This traditional dish is made with fresh, plump crabs that are cooked in a flavourful broth made with a combination of spices and coconut milk. The result is a rich and aromatic dish that is sure to satisfy your appetite.

One of the standout features of Buntaa is the filling, crabs roe and crab fat called aligue are typically extracted from the shells where it is mixed with young coconut meat along with other spices, it is then filled back to the crab shells, secured then cooked in a flavourful broth, which is made with a blend of spices such as garlic, ginger, and chili peppers. The broth is also infused with coconut milk, which gives it a creamy and slightly sweet flavour. The crabs are cooked in the broth, allowing them to absorb all of the delicious flavours.

Buntaa is a popular dish in Butuan City and can be found at many local restaurants and food stalls. It is typically served with rice, which helps to soak up all of the delicious broth. Whether you’re a seafood lover or just looking to try something new, Buntaa is a must-try dish when visiting the Southern part of the Philippines.

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5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Buntaa is a Filipino dish made with Crabs are stuffed with fresh coconut and crab fat cooked in spiced coconut milk.


Units Scale
  • 2 kgs large female crabs, cleaned then chilled
  • 1 cup shredded young coconut meat
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 stalks spring onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 green chili peppers, sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the crabs by pulling the top shells off of the crabs, discard the inedible bits, the only parts needed are the crab roe and crab fat (the orange bits). Carefully scrape into a bowl all crab roe and crab fat. Clean the crab body and shells gently with running water.
  2. In a large bowl mix together coconut meat, crab roe, crab fat, spring onions, half of the minced garlic, ginger, red onion and salt.
  3. Fill the reserved crab shells and body with the coconut-crab fat mixture and reassemble the crabs and tie them together with kitchen string. Set any liquid aside.
  4. In a large pot, combine the coconut milk, remaining garlic and chili peppers. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  5. Gently Add the crabs to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Once the crabs turn orange in colour pour in coconut cream and the liquid that was set aside.
  6. Bring the mixture back to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for more minutes.
  7. Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with rice on the side. Enjoy!


You can add more aligue if the one from the crabs are not enough.  Ideally you should be able to get 2 tbsp of aligue and roe per fat female crab, if not you can top it up using the bottled aligue you can find in your supermarket.


8 Responses

  1. wow…this looks absolutely heavenly! Can’t remember when I last had some crabs :-// Miss them badly.

  2. Neil says:

    Such a colourful looking crab dish! Yum!

  3. Michelle says:

    What a showstopping dish! The seasonings along with the coconut milk makes the crab so rich and heavenly!

  4. Caitlin says:

    This sounds so delicious! I love crab but have never tried it prepared this way. I’ll have to give it a go!

  5. We do love seafood around here, and I’ve definitely never come across crab prepared in this way. Not only does it sound delicious, but it looks really cool, too! I love how the entire claws are served with the dish. Great job, Raymund!

  6. Inger says:

    THis looks absolutely amazing!

  7. So beautiful on the plate — I can only imagine how good it tastes!

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