Oh how I've neglected crabs! I'm so use to just barbecuing them and eating them straight from the shell, that I completely failed to make recipes from them. Well until the recent visit of a friend from the UK and our seafood tour of Phuket!
For this recipe you'll need female crabs, the roe makes for a more intense crab flavor. It also uses Kapi, shrimp paste, a concentrated Thai shrimp paste used in our spicy salads.
To see how to prepare crab, and how to tell the sex of it, visit the crab prep ingredients page.
3 Female Eating Crabs
2-3 Garlic Cloves
2-3 Red Chillies
1 Tablespoon Thai Shrimp Paste (Kapi)
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Pinch of Salt
2-3 Spring Onions
Coriander Leaves for Garnish
1. Steam the crabs, for crabs the size used in the video, it's about 5 minutes. The crab should be completely pink after steaming.
2. Extract the meat as shown in the Eating Crab ingredient page. These are female crabs so we're expecting to find roe, as well as meat. Keep the shells.
3. The shell doesn't need to be completely clean, but it should be free from any membrane or inedible parts. It's just been steamed, so any little particle of crab meat on the shell are not a problem.
4. The shrimp paste should be cooked off first, it enhances the flavor, make the shrimp paste softer and kills any germs.
5. Spread the paste on some tinfoil, and fold the foil over, fry the tinfoil in a frying pan for a few minutes each size to heat through the paste. Then scrape the paste off the foil into a Thai mortar.
6. Add the salt to the mortar, chop the garlic and add that to the mortar, add chopped chillies to the mortar and pound the mixture into a paste.
7. Add the crab meat, crab eggs, the lemon juice and fish sauce, and pound the mixture to mix it and break up the larger pieces of crab meat.
8. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
9. Spoon the mixture into the crab shells.
10. Garnish with coriander leaves, and chopped spring onions.
11. Serve as a side dish to rice, or just eat it on its own.