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Claws for thought: Crab lovers can make life easy

Delicious paste brings taste of northern Thailand

It was all about love for crabs and exotic Thai food when Rojaleka Sornmanee started What A Crab Delivery two months ago. Her ultimate dish is aung pu (field crab yellow paste), which is a rare northern Thai recipe. “Aung pu is very hard to find. On my lucky day when I go to a fresh market in Chiang Mai, I might get a chance to buy it. It isn’t something you can find regularly. Field crabs are seasonal,” she said.

She decided to put the dish on her menu of authentic Thai cuisine with a fusion twist so that she wouldn’t have to search for it anywhere else. “Just mix our field crab paste with freshly cooked rice, then add crab meat and season with chilli fish sauce. Serve that simple dish with vegetables and it’s good to go,” said Ms Rojaleka, who creates other crab dishes like Thai coconut curry noodle soup with soft shell crab and yellow crab paste with spaghetti. For crab lovers, these dishes are flavourful and very addictive.

For more information, please go to Facebook/What a Crab Delivery or order at Line @whatacrab or tel: 095-492-2949.


THAI COCONUT CURY NODLE SOUP with Soft shell Crab (Soft shell Crab Khao Soi )

Ingredients

Serves: 3-4
4 ounces rice noodles
1-2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
1 shallot finely diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (store bought)
½ tsp turmeric - optional
pinch cardamom- optional
1 can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth (or use water and one chicken bouillon cube)
1 thinly sliced red bell pepper (optional- sub other veggies)
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 ½ tbsp sugar, or alternative substitute
1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce (sambal olek)
Raw, deveined soft shell crab (or pan-seared cubes of tofu, or very thinly sliced raw chicken or even leftover rotisserie chicken)
1 lime
Garnish with fresh basil or cilantro, bean sprouts, scallions or red onions.

Notes: To bump up the flavourful coconut broth even more, add a 10cm piece of lemongrass, smashed, a few slices of galangal or a couple of kaffir lime leaves (all optional)

Instructions

1. Place noodles in a shallow baking dish and boil enough to just cover them.

2. While water is boiling, prep the shallots, ginger, garlic, red bell pepper, then get all other ingredients ready by the stove.

3. In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat.

4. Add shallots and ginger. Saute until fragrant and golden, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and red curry paste. Fry for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add the coconut milk, water and bouillon cube and bring to a simmer, stirring. Once gently simmering add the bell pepper, soy, fish sauce, sugar and chili garlic sauce.

6. Add the chicken and gently simmer until cooked. Give a generous squeeze of lime. Taste, adding more lime or salt if necessary.

7. Drain the noodles. If serving the soup immediately, toss the noodles right into the pot and then serve.

8. Alternatively, divide noodles into bowls, and ladel soup over top.

9. Garnish with fresh basil, bean sprouts, thinly sliced red onion and chopped scallions.

10. Deep fry soft shell crab and nicely decorate.

11. Note: You can make the soup the day before and keep in the fridge, keeping the noodles separate (they will swell in the soup) and simply reheat.


Yellow crab paste cooked with spaghetti chilli, garlic and parsley

Ingredients

What a Crab yellow crab paste.
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 small red chilli finely sliced
a handful of parsley finely chopped
olive oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked “al dente” spaghetti

Instructions

1. Heat up some olive oil in a pan on medium heat and once it’s heated add your What a Crab yellow paste. Fry on both sides for a few minutes, ensuring it does not burn.

2. Add your garlic and chilli and give everything a good toss and stir. Season accordingly with salt and pepper.

3. Add the spaghetti and toss everything together. If the mixture becomes a little dry, add some more olive oil and a little pasta water to loosen it up a little.

4. Plate the spaghetti and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.


Fried rice with crab yellow paste and crab meat

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp What a Crab yellow crab paste
2 large cloves minced garlic
1 cups cooked white rice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup cooked lump crab meat
2 scallions, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
lime wedges

Instructions

1. First, prep all of your ingredients, including your aromatics--, garlic, cilantro, and scallion. Prep the beaten What a Crab yellow crab paste as well and set them aside. Only when you have all the ingredients prepared and ready to go should you start cooking.

2. Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic first, stirring for 30 seconds. When the garlic is just cooked (before it starts to turn golden), add the cooked rice to the wok, and turn up the heat to high. Stir fry the rice for 3 minutes or so until it’s thoroughly combined with the garlic mixture and/or warmed through if you’re using leftover rice.

3. Now for the flavourings: add fish sauce, soy sauce, to the rice. If it’s not quite salty enough for you or if you know you won’t be eating it with added hot sauce, now is the time to add salt to taste. Stir-fry to combine.

4. Using your spatula, spread the rice out into an even layer along the surface of the wok. Pour the beaten What a Crab yellow Crab paste evenly over the rice. Stir the rice until all of the yellow crab paste is cooked and incorporated. The egg coats the rice and makes for a most excellent savoury experience.

5. Before adding the crab and What a Crab yellow crab paste, use your spatula to once more spread the rice evenly in the wok. Add the crab and What a Crab yellow crab paste to the rice and stir fry thoroughly. When the crab is warmed through, add the scallion and cilantro and stir-fry briefly until the herbs are just wilted. Serve and finish with a squeeze of lime and your favorite chilli oil.

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