While I lived in Dallas, Texas, I found an abundance of crayfish, and blue crabs. Something that I really miss here in the Midwest. In all honesty, both of those items are really difficult to find, but with careful investigation, and my weekend shopping at the ethnic stores, I finally found fresh blue crabs. Trust me, I have asked my local grocers, my higher-end markets, and the local fish factory, and nothing. My local Asian mart pulled through, even on a week day. I had stopped at Anh Chau on my way home from work to pick up some curry paste and coconut milk, when low and behold, I heard the scuffling around of blue crabs. I cannot tell you how excited I got. I finally found fresh blue crab!
Now I have prepared these a couple of different ways in the past; one simply steamed and served with a nice garlic butter, and the other prepared with red curry paste and coconut milk. Both are super delicious, but the Thai red curry and coconut milk has a flavor that can compete with anything. Creamy, spicy, and a dish that you really get to eat with your hands, this one is sure to be fun, delicious, and a bit messy.
- Blue crabs, as many as you think you can eat, cleaned, split in half
- 1 (or more) tbsp red curry paste
- 15 oz can of coconut milk
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Cooked rice
Begin by using tongs to grab your live crab. This is always fun as they like to attack your tongs. Flip the crab over onto it’s back, and puncture it with a sharp knife, right in the middle. Yes, this is often painful to watch, but it has got to be done. Now with your knife, split the crab in half, lengthwise. The important thing here is to remove the gills, up near the face, as well as removing the apron, near the bottom. Once those are removed, rinse the crab in cold water, and set aside, repeating the process.
To a large wok, heat the curry paste. I say one tablespoon of the paste, however, if you and your friends like it spicier, add more curry paste. Once the paste is heated, roughly a couple of minutes, add in your coconut milk, and stir, bringing to a small boil. Add in the crab, reduce the heat, and cook for about 20-25 minutes.
Plate on a large serving platter by adding rice as the base (or served as a side), and layout the crab. Nothing fancy here as this is truly a finger food where you are bound to get a bit messy. Sprinkle the chopped basil on top, and prepare yourself for a feast of sweet crab with a wonderful spice.