Blue crabs and eggplant (Cirique a l’ aubergine)



  • 8 medium live blue crabs
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tomatoes or 12 grape tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp of salt (or at will)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp of sour orange
  • 1 tsp of lime
  • thyme and parsley at will
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (4 oz)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 green bell peppers
  • 1 red bell peppers


  1. Put your water to boil and submerge the crabs for 5 to 8 minutes. (This will eventually kill them and allow for an easy way to clean them).
    For a more “humane” method, you can watch the video here. It’s also a quicker way to do it.
  2. Remove the flap of the crab abdomen, also known as the “apron“. Then, insert a knife in between the bottom shell and the top shell. Snap off the top and discard of it. Thoroughly remove the residues under running water. Make sure you clean the gills as well where some mud can get trapped.
    crab apron
  3. Marinate the crabs in lime, sour orange, salt, pepper , garlic and crushed scotch bonnet pepper while you prepare the eggplant.
  4. Peel the eggplants, cut them in big portions and bring them to a boil for about 15 minutes. Not too long.
    In some cultures, The eggplant will be served with the pieces intact. However, I decided to put them in the food processor with 1 cup of water and give them just one pulse.
  5. Warm the oil over a deep pot. Add 1 tbsp of tomato paste. Saute the onions, bell peppers and tomatoes after cutting them in dices.
  6. Add the blue crabs in, then the thyme and parsley.
  7. Pour the eggplant mix over the crab. Cover the pot and leave to simmer for about 1 hour.
    * I also decided to add some collard greens in there.

Bon appetit!


Blue Crab and Eggplant is usually served with white rice and your choice of beans puree. In my case, I decided to go with red beans puree.
And I mistakenly bought cilantro instead of parsley. My bad!
One way to avoid that is to grab a leaf , crush it and smell it. Cilantro will have a much stronger aroma

Live Blue Crabs
Pre-Boiled Crabs


Crab Apron
Pulled Up Apron Flap




Seasoned Crab


Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

One thought on “Blue crabs and eggplant (Cirique a l’ aubergine)

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