During our recent gardening spree, we went to the local Stew Leonards store. This is our first time here and we were amazed at the sheer size of the store. The fish section of this store is pretty big and has fishes not usually available in the local grocery stores. We bought some soft shell crabs which were kinda pricey. The last time we bought crabs were from an Asian store, and I think they were cheaper. Soft shell crab season begins in May, so hopefully the prices will come down in the next months.
Dealing with live crabs is not for the fickle minded. And so we got the crabs cleaned and ready to cook from the store. The whole cooking process took less than 15 min, and the dish is wonderfully spicy and perfect with rice. And for complete satisfaction, dig in with your hands. This is perfect for informal gatherings with friends, as eating crab is a very messy affair. We just piled the crab onto a plate, added some rice to the side and ate away.
Recipe Measuerements are approximate
Soft shell crab 4 halved
Green chillies 4 or 5 and slit lenghtwise
Garlic and ginger chopped finely 1 tsp each
Oil 1 -2 tbsp
Tomato ketchup 3 tbsp
Red chili sauce ( store bought) a generous dash
Sugar 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water 1/4 cup
Sliced scallions 1 or a few thin slices of red onion.
Heat a large pan or a wok, add the oil. Add the crab pieces and fry till the flesh is white and the shells turn red ( about 6 min)
Push the crab to the side of the pan, and add chilies, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 2 min, and mix with crab.
Add ketchup, sugar, salt , chili sauce and cold water. Bring to boil and stir to combine all the ingredients together. Simmer for few minutes. Add the green onions just before serving. I didnot have green onions, and so I added some thinly sliced red onions a few minutes before taking off the stove.
Enjoy! The crabs are slightly sweet and very moist. The sauce is spicy.
Recipe source : Asia The Beautiful Cookbook. Page 162.
Dish prepared by Satish
Instructions on cleaning crabs at home click here
You can grind the chilies, ginger and garlic in a mortar or blender.
The original recipe includes adding beaten eggs at the end. If you do that, add the beaten eggs and cook briefly, breaking it with a spatula. Then add the onions and serve.
The introduction to the recipe includes this about eating crab:There is no ceremony here, and only the most pedantically fastidious would bother with tableware. I say very well said.