August 13, 2007

Red curry crab


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.


Christina said...

Girlfriend, you're making me cry. Stop it. No wait I mean post more. At least I can read your delectable post while I eat my dried out old sandwich for lunch.

red curry crab... (sniffle)

P said...

Positively delish. And I can imagine that you will really put away tons of rice with this dish.

Btw, if you haven't, then you must check out this travel blog,

The Knittymommy said...

Salamat Edgar! I'm dying here!

veron said...

Crab,coconut milk and have me drooling!

christine said...

Christina!! It's so nice to hear from you! If it makes you feel any better, your sandwich doesn't sound too far from my lunch today at work. :)

Hey P! That site sounds like something I'd enjoy, thanks for the link. :)

KM, doesn't Edgar look like such a kind and happy person? Maraming salamat, Edgar! :)

Veron, isn't that just a killer combination?

Socky said...

Last weekend, family lunch was a ton of crabs. I'd like to have them every time my family gets together, but my sister has to go all the way to the Diosdado Macapagal market. It would be great to have a Mang Edgar knocking at your door with such a bounty to choose from. I hope he can make it a little further south (BF) but I'm sure his pails of seafood goodies would be empty by then!

The crab recipe sounds yummy. A variation to our usual chili crab. Will try that next time.

canDIshhh said...

Lucky Lucky Lucky you!! Edgar looks so happy in that pic! Hehehe.. :) It's a win win situation for you both! :)

I would love to have a Mang Edgar here in our place!! :) Sigh...

ScroochChronicles said...

You're crab dish looks fantastic. The sad part is, I can't eat crabs because my thyroid goes into overdrive because of the iodine. Sniff....

Nice pic of Mang Edgar!!

christine said...

Socky, like you we would get our seafood from there as well. Or at dampa. Although neither are too far, it's nice to have this convenience. The chili crab is also the family's favorite and 7 times out of 10 that's what we'll do with the crab. :)

Hi Didi, yes I really consider myself lucky! He's such a good-natured man too, regardless of how hot it is outside, he's happy doing what he does. :)

Hey Cookie! I'm sorry to hear that, but you can just substitute the crab here with any other seafood life shrimp and prawns, assuming they don't have the same effect on you.
I didn't know about the connection of the thyroid and iodine. I have a thyroid problem (hypo), does that mean I should eat more crab to send mine into overdrive? Or is that wishful thinking? :)

joey said...

What a sweetie he is! He looks so nice :) I agree, you are very lucky to have this very simpatico guy deliver fresh seafood to your doorstep! What can I say, your village truly has everything! ;)

This crab curry sounds delicious! I love Thai curried and I can just imagine how good it'll be with fresh crab!

Sidney said...

I am with Christina... stop it! This is torture... (just came back from my empty fridge)

christine said...

Joey, he's super nice. Very maamo, as he always was since I was a little girl. :)

Hey Sidney, welcome back! Can't wait to read all about your trip. :)

ScroochChronicles said...

Hi Christine!! I have hyperthryroidism. Excessive amounts of iodine triggers my thyroid and causes it to produce more hormones. This happened to me once after eating an entire order of Crab Maritess at Red Crab. I couldn't stand the morning after.

oggi said...


christine said...

Oh no Cookie, that's no fun. Don't worry I won't be posting about crab for a while. :)
I have the opposite of what you have, hypothyroidism.

Hi Oggie! What's yum is your ensaimada, chocolate-filled candies and green tea icea cream. I remember the first time I had green tea ice cream was in a Jap restaurant in Spain, and I super loved it! It's not easy to find good green tea ice cream around here.

Belinda said...

What fun, Christine...we now have a face to go along with the mysterious taho man post! And the crab dish you prepared sounds out of this world delicious, with lots of rice...heavenly! Curry is one of my food weaknesses, so I am coveting the crab curry as I type! :-)

christine said...

Hi Belinda! You do need lots of rice with this, and make sure to pour the curry on it for maximum satisfaction. :)

Rasa Malaysia said...

Ooooh, I would love this recipe...I love I have another recipe that I can try out.

christine said...

Hi Bee, let me know how you like it when you try it. :) So nice to see you around!

Bunny said...

OMG! I also get crabs and lapu-lapu from him whenever he passes by! We live in the same village in Paranaque noh? Way way back, it was his dad who used to sell taho and then he did it.

Btw, found your blog while searching for a chili crab recipe.

aira loves juicy couture said...

This looks so good and the way you describe it makes me want to eat crab now!

christine said...

Hi Bunny!, Yes, same village! Small world. :) And yup, it was his dad, then he passed on the taho business and does this now. :)

Aira, thanks. I love crabs. Lately, I've been having crab cakes A LOT, at least once a week.