Tamarind crab

Tamarind crab

By
From
KOTO
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

There is no better place to enjoy this sticky dish than on a Saigon sidewalk in the shade of a tamarind tree. Cooking the crab in its shell makes it more flavoursome and the sauce works equally well with other crustaceans.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 mud crabs, (about 1.5 kg in total)
or 3 blue swimmers, (about 1.5 kg in total)
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
3 garlic cloves
1 small leek, cut into 4 cm lengths, white part only
1 tablespoon Tamarind paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon Annatto oil
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Prepare the crabs by removing the top shell and rinsing to remove the gills and bony head. Cut each crab into 4 pieces with a heavy cleaver and crack open the larger claws.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. Fry the crab for 2 minutes, or until the shells turn red. Remove the crab and set aside.
  3. Pour off the oil and return the wok to high heat. Add the garlic and leek and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until fragrant. Keep moving the wok to prevent the garlic from burning. Add 4 tablespoons water, the tamarind paste, fish sauce, annatto oil, sugar and black pepper. Return the crab to the wok and toss to coat it in the sauce. Cook for a further 2–3 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced.
  4. Place the crab on a platter and arm your guests with plenty of napkins. Eating crab is deliciously messy.
Tags:
KOTO
Tracey
Lister
Andreas
Pohl
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Asian
Asia
South
East
Southeast
South-east
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