Crabs Recipes

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Fermented Black Bean Crab Recipe Recipe

We had a giant seafood feast last weekend, and believe it or not, we cooked 12 whole crabs. The main flavoring of this dish was fermented black beans, which are very common in Asian cooking. I also added fresh green chiles and a lot of Thai basil leaves. 

The crabs are prepared in two steps. First, they're fried, and then to finish them off, they are stir-fried with the fermented bean sauce and a bit of cooking wine. It gets a bit messy around the stove, but the result is worth the effort!


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Sauteed Crab with Ginger and Basil Recipe

It never occurred to me until today that the reason I don't sauté crab that often is because the preparation can be very messy. Removing the abdominal flaps, separating the back fin, gathering the crab "butter" and corals from the inside of the crabs in a bowl and cracking the claws aren't the most glamorous of tasks. As I was chatting with the fish monger at my local market, he offered to clean the crabs for me and said he would do it whenever I feel like eating crab. How sweet of him!

I ran home and immediately sautéed the crab claws. To give the seafood dish a nice fragrance, I cooked the crab with freshly grated ginger, roasted garlic, sweet paprika, cayenne powder, a squeeze of lemon juice, sweet basil leaves and dry white wine. I also find that the addition of shallots and a bit of butter enhances just about any dish.

The crab was cooked perfectly; the meat came right out of the shell. And rather than getting messy eating crab at a restaurant, isn't it way better to pig out in the comfort of your own home?


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Cua Rang Muoi (Vietnamese Salted Crab Recipe) Recipe

I love cooking seafood, but I don’t always get the chance because of the number of vegetarians in my house. So when I do prepare seafood, I make a point of getting the freshest ingredients I can, and today that was crab.

Cua rang muối is one of my favorite recipes for preparing crab. The Vietnamese name literally translates to "crab toasted (roasted) in salt crust". The preparation is quite messy but the cooking time is fairly fast. The main ingredients are whole crabs (of course), freshly cracked black pepper, coarse sea salt, garlic, jalapeño chile peppers, green onions and tapioca starch. When cooked properly, the strong smell of seafood shouldn't bother anyone around with a seafood phobia. And for those of you who love seafood as much as I do, you’re in for a treat!

Salted Crab Recipe with Picture
Don't they look like dentist tools?


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Vietnamese Meatloaf (Mam Chung Thit) Recipe

Mắm chưng thịt is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine. It's a blend of pork or chicken, crab meat, salted fish fillet in brine, bean thread noodles, mushrooms and eggs.

For this recipe, I used a mix of chicken breast and thighs. The flavor is reminiscent of the filling of a meat egg roll combined with the strong flavor of salted fish fillet in nước mắm (brine). The most common fish used for making steam fish cakes is snakehead fish, though mackerel or catfish can be used as well.


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Vietnamese Tamarind Sweet Crab (Cua Rang Me) Recipe

Vietnamese-style tamarind crab (cua rang me in Vietnamese) is an incredibly simple, yet absolutely mouth-watering dish. The real key to making this dish successfully is to have the freshest crab you can get. The roughly cracked pieces of crab are stir fried in a sweet and sour tamarind sauce. The sauce is made of tamarind, chili, Thai basil and garlic. The Thai basil imparts an intense fragrance to the sauce, and by extension, to the crab.

We eat this dish family style. No pretense here. Just get a large platter, fill it with the tamarind crab and put it in the middle of your dinner table. We don't have enough meat eaters in my house, so I always call over a couple of family members or friends to share in the bounty. Roll up your sleeves, and dig in!


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