Cracked Crab with Curry Powder


The little Thai CookbookThis crab recipe is one of the few Thai dishes to use curry powder as a main flavouring. Bought curry powder (look for a Thai brand) is usually very good and this is what Thai cooks use, but there is a recipe if you need to make your own.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 live crab, 500 g (1 lb 2 oz)
  • 6 fl oz ⅔ cup (170 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoons Thai curry powder or bought Thai curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, cut into 3 wedges
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • ½ long red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced, for garnish
  • a few coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
  1. Put the crabs in the freezer for 1 hour. Leaving the legs attached, cut the crab in half through the centre of the shell from head to rear. Cut in half again from left to right (quartering the crab), with legs attached to each quarter. Twist off and remove the upper shell pieces. Discard the stomach sac and the soft gill tissue. Using crackers or the back of a heavy knife, crack the claws to make them easier to eat. If the claws are big, cut them in half.
  2. Mix the coconut milk, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, curry powder and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan. Stir-fry the garlic over medium heat until light brown. Add the crab and stir-fry for 4–5 minutes. Add the coconut mixture and onion and continue stir-frying for another 5–7 minutes, or until the crab meat is cooked through and the sauce is reduced and very thick. Add the spring onions. Taste, then adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon onto a serving plate and sprinkle with sliced chilli and coriander leaves.

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