Remember Edgar, the taho guy-turned-crab guy I was telling you about in this post? Well twice recently I managed to catch him while I was home during the weekend. One Saturday morning, we chatted under the shade of a large rainbow-striped umbrella fixed to his sidecar as he weighed live crabs for me. I peered into the pails at his bounty, seeing some great-looking squid, lapu-lapu and prawns squirming around in there, still very much alive. He was telling me how he gave his taho business to his brother-in-law and nephew to help them out. What a nice guy!
Crabs are a family favorite and we used to cook it at home pretty often, but we've been having it more now than ever. This gives me a chance to experiment with different flavors. I got the inspiration for this dish from a recipe in At The Table of Jim Thompson for prawns in red curry and basically just substituted the prawns with crab. I used a packet of curry paste left over from a trip to Bangkok a few months ago, along with the naam pla (Thai fish sauce) and dried kaffir lime leaves also purchased during that trip.
It turned out to be an addicting meal of succulent crab drenched in a semi-sweet, very spicy creamy curry that will have you ladling more of the sauce into your rice. Yet another one of those finger-lickingly good and utterly satisfying Sunday lunches brought to us by Edgar, who now has us eagerly anticipating his next visit.
Red curry crab
adapted from At The Table of Jim Thompson
1 1/2 - 2 cups coconut milk
4 tbsp red curry paste
2 tsp palm sugar
5 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1-2 tbsp red chili paste (depending on your heat preference)
6 whole crabs
Boil crabs and set aside. When cool, chop in half and separate the claws.
In a wok, warm the coconut milk over medium heat, then add the red curry paste and continue cooking until fragrant. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce, chicken stock and simmer until the mixture is reduced to a thick curry. Add the shredded kaffir lime leaves, mix well and simmer for another five minutes.
Toss in all the crab and mix well. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with remaining kaffir lime leaves. Serve with rice.