Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Crab

I was standing at the seafood counter at my local grocery store and I saw something that I don't usually see in this region ... dungeness crab.  The store did not have whole dungies, but dungie clusters, which was good enough for me.  So, I bought a pound of dungeness crab clusters (which is only two clusters) and proceeded to the produce aisles to buy some hot peppers, herbs and other ingredients because I had an idea.  It was kind of an Iron Chef moment.  I saw the ingredients and a recipe came to mind.  The recipe is inpired by a Vietnamese dish called Cua Hap Bia or Crab in Beer Broth. 

Cua Hap Bia generally uses whole crabs, but there is nothing that prevents you from using crab clusters.  Dungeness clusters are especially good to use because they have a lot of meat in them.  Generally speaking, dungeness crab is pre-cooked and then frozen.  So, when cooking this type of crab, you only need to heat it up.  But you also have to be careful about overcooking the crab, because then it will become mushy and waterlogged.  While I used dungeness crab, you can use snow crab or king crab. The same precautions apply with respect to these types of crab because, like dungeness, they are pre-cooked. 

With respect to serving this dish, I served this over jasmine rice flavored with garlic and cilantro.  Rice is not necessary, you can simply spoon the crab and vegetables into a bowl and eat it.

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2

1 pound of dungeness crab clusters
1 large (or 2 small) jalapeno peppers, sliced
1 large (or 2 small) sweet red peppers, sliced
1/2 onion, large diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 beer
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil.

1.  Prepare the crab.  Break down the crab clusters into pieces.  

2.  Saute the vegetables.  Heat the oil on high.  Add the onions, hot peppers and sweet peppers.  Stir-fry for five to ten minutes until all of the vegetables are cook.  After a couple of minutes, add the garlic to the vegetable mix and continue to cook. Stir occasionally.

3.  Add the crab to the vegetables.  Add the crab and mix well so that the crab is covered by the vegetable mixture.  Add the beer. Continue to cook for about five more minutes.

4.  Finish the dish.  Remove from the heat.  Spoon into a bowl or over rice.  Also, spoon some of the beer broth over the crab. 


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