Filipino Garlic Fried Rice With Crab Paste

Crab paste (taba ng talangka) makes this dish rich and aromatic

Filipino Garlic Fried Rice With Crab Paste

The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 9 mins
Total: 14 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
162 Calories
4g Fat
23g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 258mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 123mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Say "fried rice" and the image that comes to mind is Chinese-style fried rice with small pieces of meat, chopped vegetables, and eggs. In the Philippines, fried rice tends to be simpler. The most popular version, called garlic fried rice, is cooked by sautéing minced garlic until golden, then adding the day-old rice and salt. Everything is stir-fried until the rice grains are glistening with the garlic-infused oil. For a richer garlic fried rice, crab paste can be added (taba ng talangka). The crab paste used to cook this fried rice dish comes from talangka

The easiest way to enjoy crab paste is to mix it with hot newly cooked rice. But if you have day-old rice, a few extra steps will yield an even tastier and more aromatic rice dish. Mixing crab paste with aromatics and a little citrus juice, like in this recipe, gives it added depth of flavor and aroma.

Serve this fried rice as a side dish to such dishes as chicken adobo or lumpia shanghai.

Learn what foods you need to stock your pantry with to cook Filipino recipes.

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"At first, I was worried the crab paste flavor would overwhelm the other flavors, but the combination with the ginger, garlic, and scallions was perfectly balanced, and the fried rice was delicious. The rice made a quick and tasty side dish." —Diana Rattray

Filipino Fried Rice With Crab Paste
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon crab paste

  • 1 splash kalamansi juice, or lemon or lime juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 2 cups cold cooked white rice, preferably day-old

  • 1 medium scallion, optional, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Filipino Garlic Fried Rice With Crab Paste ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  2. Sauté garlic, ginger, and shallots in vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until softened.

    Saute garlic, ginger and shallots in the vegetable oil

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  3. Add the crab paste and kalamansi juice. Stir for about 1 minute.

    add crab paste and the kalamansi juice to the garlic mixture in the pan

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  4. Taste and add salt, as needed.

    garlic mixture cooking in the pan

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii

  5. Mix in the cooked rice and stir-fry just until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot and garnished with chopped scallion.

    Filipino Garlic Fried Rice With Crab Paste

    The Spruce Eats / Ahlam Raffii


Cold, day-old rice is best for fried rice, but in a pinch, you can speed up the process. After cooking the rice, spread it out in a single layer on a baking sheet or platter to dry thoroughly—about 30 minutes—then refrigerate it for about an hour. Break the clumps up with your fingers before adding it to the pan.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover fried rice in an airtight container and eat it within five days.
  • To reheat leftovers, put the fried rice in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a dampened paper towel. Microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds until it is hot and evenly cooked. Alternatively, reheat the fried rice in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat with a small amount of water to moisten.