“During Easter, crab (Matoutou) is king and makes the centrepiece of Easter Monday meals. They are hunted during the season, which starts a month before Easter, trapped in a zatrap (handcrafted wooden trap), then fed fruit (sugar cane, coconut, melon) and other secret family ingredients to cleanse and to flavour their flesh. ‘Matoutou’ also refers to the preparation when the rice is cooked with the crab, like a risotto in a way. I prefer to cook rice and matoutou separately.”  – Prisca Morjon, Ma Cuisine Creole

2.89 from 2786 votes
Martinique Matoutou Crabs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Author: Prisca Morjon
For the Marinade:
  • Tbsp. ginger peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and grated
  • 1 fresh habanero chili sliced and pounded to a paste
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped chives
  • 2 fresh bay leaves torn
  • juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper
For the Crabs:
  • 1.5 kg a little over 3 pounds land crabs, cleaned (or Madagascar crabs
  • 1 Tbsp.  graines à roussir a mixture of whole cumin, fenugreek & mustard seeds
  • 1 lime
  • 4 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 bouquet garni chives, parsley, fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh colombo paste
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 6 whole cloves crushed or bruised
  • 1/2 red sweet pepper chopped
  • 1/2 zuchinni sliced into rounds
  • 1 fresh tomato finely chopped  (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 bay or allspice leaves coarsely crushed or torn
  1. Make the marinade: mix all ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Make the crabs: remove shells and claws (sharp ends of the legs) of the crabs. Clean crabs thoroughly with lemon/lime and water. Keep the fat.
  3. Add crabs to a bowl, pour marinade over them, toss to mix and let marinate 2 hours minimum but preferably overnight.
  4. When ready to cook the crab, remove it from the refrigerator and bring it up to room temperature.
  5. Add the 'graines à roussir' to a dry frying pan and roast at low heat until fragrant. Add 4 tablespoons of oil to the pan and raise the heat. Add onions, bouquet garni and garlic. Add salt to taste and let cook until golden and tender.
  6. Add the colombo paste, tomato paste, crushed cloves, pepper, zucchini and tomatoes. Stir everything together with a little water (about 15 ml/1 tablespoon), reduce heat and let cook until everything is softened and fragrant (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add crab pieces, shaking off excess marinade. Mix them well with the aromatic paste without breaking them. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover, add only half of the reserved marinade and 2 cups water.
  8. Add the whole scotch bonnet pepper, allspice/bay leaves coarsely crushed. Simmer 25 minutes, covered. If you would like to cook rice into the dish, add it here.
  9. Remove lid, taste for salt and pepper, add to taste if necessary. Simmer another 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces.
  10. Serve with rice Creole as is the tradition. Bon appétit!


 This recipe was published in the June 2015 edition of Cooking Sense Magazine
  1. Thank you a lot for giving everyone an exceptionally pleasant chance to read critical reviews from this website. It is usually so kind and also full of a good time for me and my office acquaintances to visit your blog not less than three times in a week to study the fresh items you have. And of course, I am also always fascinated with the splendid concepts you serve. Some 1 tips in this posting are without a doubt the best we have all had.

  2. I definitely wanted to jot down a quick message so as to appreciate you for those fantastic ideas you are showing on this site. My long internet research has at the end been compensated with pleasant points to exchange with my family. I would admit that we visitors are quite endowed to live in a very good site with many marvellous individuals with good plans. I feel very happy to have encountered your entire webpages and look forward to so many more thrilling times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything.

  3. I want to express my appreciation to this writer for rescuing me from this type of predicament. Just after surfing around through the online world and getting things that were not powerful, I believed my entire life was well over. Being alive devoid of the strategies to the problems you’ve resolved through your main guide is a critical case, as well as those that would have in a wrong way affected my entire career if I hadn’t come across your site. Your own talents and kindness in taking care of all the stuff was vital. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a stuff like this. I can also now relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for your specialized and sensible help. I won’t be reluctant to endorse your web site to anybody who would need assistance on this area.

  4. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am going through troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone
    else getting identical RSS issues? Anyone who knows the
    answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

Leave a Reply