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Thai crab fried rice

Crab fried riceUntil very recently we lived by the see and always tried to take advantage of the Nature’s beauty and galore as the locals do. One of our funniest ways to feel a little bit locals was the crab hunting. It typically is a long walk on the rocky shores at sunset, armed with a bucket and pair of kitchen tweezers or in other words armed with almost the first thing you can think of to help you catch the little fellas (of course, you can use crabbing net and flashlights, which makes the hunting  far easier). Then you need to walk really silently and be brave and quick with the tweezers (or bare hands), which we weren’t really but it was great fun.

For something like two hours of crab hunting we’d have around a dozen small or medium sized crabs, and after hours of cleaning them up and scooping the flesh, we finished with a scarce cup of fresh and incredibly tasty crab meat.

Of course, this precious ingredient needed a good frame to shine in. We owe this recipe to gourmettraveler and David Thompson’s ‘Thai Street Food’. His Crab Fried Rice requires just few ingredients and is simple to prepare but it makes the delicate crab meat a real star.

The source recommends using freshly cooked, warm (but not steaming hot) rice, but day-old cooked rice is also good in this kind of dish. After all, fried rice is based on the leftover philosophy. Using warm rice and cracking the eggs first produces delicious fluffy grains and not a mush as we were afraid at first, but to reduce the risk you may want to cool the rice completely before frying.

Thai crab fried riceServes: 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
good pinch of sea salt
2-3 tbsp groundnut or other high smoke point oil
2 eggs
300g (11oz) cooked rice*
1 tbsp light soy sauce
pinch of sugar
pinch of white pepper
100g crab meat
3-4 spring onions, finely chopped

* We recommend using long-grain variety of rice, like the Thai Jasmine rice or Basmati but unfortunately we didn’t have it when shooting.

To serve:
a good pinch of chopped coriander leaves, lime or lemon wedges

Method:

In a pestle crush garlic with salt to form a coarse paste or simply mince the garlic and mix in the salt.

Heat the oil in wok on a low-medium heat and stir in the garlic paste. Fry until the aroma is released and the garlic starts to colour, and then crack in the eggs. You want them to slightly set before stirring them quickly.

Add the warm rice until the eggs are still soft and semi-runny and lower the heat. Gently mix and toss the rice, so all the grains are coated with oil and egg. If the mix seem too dry you can add an extra drizzle of oil.

Season with the soy sauce, sugar and pepper, and continue to fry for about a minute or two more, until well combined. Take the rice of the heat and stir in the crab meat and spring onions. Leave the mixture without covering for few minutes before serving. You may want to reserve some crab meat and onions for garnish.

Spoon onto two plates and top with the reserved crab meat and spring onions. Serve with freshly chopped coriander leaves, lime or lemon wedges.

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