When you walk the streets of Vietnam, your senses are treated to one of the greatest experiences of all-time. Your eyes take in numerous street food vendors. Your nose takes in the aroma of the numerous dishes being prepared right on the streets and then your sense of taste gets to be enthralled by the food you're surrounded by.
Vietnamese Fried Crab is one of those dishes which is so very simple to prepare and so incredibly delicious to eat. It should be a crime that something this simple (and fast) should taste this good. Luckily, it isn't a crime and you can eat it guilt-free!
When I first ate this dish, the street cook prepared the crab in sesame oil. The sesame oil took some of the natural taste of the crab away. In an effort to make the crab the star of this dish, we experimented with different oils for frying. As is uaually the case, the simplest was the best and the simplest was corn oil.
You can use any variety of crab for this dish. We opt for Dungeness crab (when in season) as we can get it fresh right off the boat. You want to make sure not to shell the crab. The shell will protect the crab meat from the intense heat of the pan.
Grab a bib and a towel, this is going to be messy, fun and downright delicious!
Ingredients needed to make Asian Fried Crab (serves 4):
- 4 crabs
- ¼ cup corn oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs. salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- Into a large pot of boiling water add the crab and cover. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit 10 minutes. Remove the crabs from the water and discard the liquid.
- Remove the legs and claws from the crabs. Open the body and remove the roe (the colored paste-like substance). Remove the gills (finger-shaped appendages) and discard. Rinse the cleaned bodies under running water and then split the bodies in half.
- With a wooden mallet or a rolling pin, hit and crack the legs and claws.
- In a large sauté pan or skillet heat the oil over high heat. Add the garlic and cook 10 seconds.
- Add the crab claws, legs and bodies and stir-fry 3 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the salt, pepper and crab row and toss to coat.
- Remove the crabs to a large platter and serve.
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