As a city dweller, cooking with crab is not something that springs instantly to mind. However, I have had quite a few requests for a crab curry recipe, one person even going so far as to say they have “crabs coming out of their ears” where they live. Once upon a time, such a comment would have alarmed me, but not anymore. I remember being more than alarmed when somebody came into a restaurant and exclaimed that it was raining “cats and dogs” outside, I even went to the window to check and was quite relieved to discover that this was just a more colourful use of the English language!
This is a Thai dish that doesn’t scream I’m Thai! It uses evaporated milk in place of coconut milk and traditionally this is cooked with curry powder, a rarity in Thai cooking. Here we are using Thai yellow curry paste so maybe not so traditional but it makes the cooking easier and the outcome more certain as curry powders can vary tremendously. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t use coconut milk in place of evaporated milk but this is the way you would eat this dish in Thailand.
This is a pretty quick dish to prepare and cook so don’t be put off by the number of pictures below, that is just me covering it in detail.
1 large cooked crab or 2 smaller crabs
1 packet of My Thai Curry Thai Yellow Curry paste
1 can of evaporated milk
2 garlic cloves
20 grams of Oyster Sauce
10 grams Sugar
1 medium onion
A few spring onions, mild red chillies, and some celery stalk and leaves.
Usually, your crab seller will be happy to clean and crack the crab for you but it is not difficult to do anyway. Pry the shell off, pulling from the back of the crab. Remove the abdomen, that is the small flap of shell on the underside of the crab. Pull out the spongy grey gills and remove the guts, these are the greenish-brown substances found inside the crab. Hold the crab under running water to remove traces of the guts. You can discard the top shell, and the carapace, cleaning out any meat left inside. In the photos I have left it on simply for illustration purposes, once you have removed the top shell most crabs can be broken in half or quarters by hand or use a large knife to cut tougher crabs. Crack the crab claws so that you and your guests can pick out the crab meat. Of course, it’s possible to completely remove the shells and cook this with just the crab meat. However, eating this Thai style and getting messy is a lot more fun!
Prepare your vegetables as below
In a mixing bowl or large jug mix one packet of Thai yellow curry paste, 2 eggs, 20 g of oyster sauce, and 10 g of sugar. Whisk together until well mixed slowly adding 400 g of evaporated milk and place to one side.
Heat a wok with a spoonful of oil, add the chopped garlic stirring until slightly brown, and add the onions and chopped chillies.
Add the cracked crab, spring onions, and celery, and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the sauce and keep stir-frying until sauce bubbles.
Serve and enjoy!