Friday, July 2, 2010

Crab with Curry and Coconut Milk

I stayed around Abu Dhabi for my Friday off. I did my usual routine of early morning walk along the Corniche, then proceeded to Khalidiya Mall for Starbucks coffee and croissant, and then my grocery shopping at a store in the mall. I was all done by 9:30AM. Since I was nearby, I went to the Port Zayed area to get a good view of Abu Dhabi's cityscape and waterfront.

I then proceeded to the fish market. The market had a good selection of local seafood available. I was eyeing the fresh crabs still clawing around the plastic containers. The locally caught crabs looked like and were about the same size as blue crabs from the mid-Atlantic area of the US, but significantly smaller than the Pacific Northwest's Dungeness. I purchased 1 kg to cook at home and see how they taste.

I love to eat crab. They are meant to be eaten at home, not at a restaurant because the mess that results when eating them. Also, eating them requires you to use your hand and fingers a lot. I can only enjoy eating crabs when I am at home because I don't have to worry about the mess.

I boiled a pot of water for the crab to cook in. In the meantime, I minced garlic, cut up one medium sized onion, sliced some ginger, and chopped hot green chiles.

The crab need not be fully cooked during the boiling process. It will be cooked further, later on. Remove the crabs from the boiling water. Individually remove each claw of the crab, open up the shell (it opens up easily into two half shells, one with the meat and the other with "crab juices"). Remove the lungs (several triangular shaped) from the meaty half. Set aside the crab top shells.

Heat pan with olive oil. Saute garlic until light brown. Mix in onions and cook until light brown. Add ginger and green chiles. Add black pepper and dried red chile flakes.

Once all of the previous ingredients are lightly browned add calimari rings -- this is optional. I had extra frozen calimari rings in the freezer so I added some. Cook the calimari rings for a few minutes. Add one 10 ounce can of coconut milk. Add the same amount of water. Let it simmer. Add curry -- I prefer the Japanese style curry that comes in concentrated solid form). Again let it simmer. When the sauce starts to thicken, add the crab, starting with the claws and then the meaty part. Stir the crab contents well in the pan. Add a pinch of MSG. Cover the pan. When it starts simmering again, place the crab shells on top, and cover pan. Turn stove off and leave pan covered for about 3 minutes.

Here is the result.

My lunch. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce into the shell with its "goo and juice." This is actually fairly tasty.

The end result. As you can see, it can get messy.

The meal was delicious. I had plenty of left0vers. I again enjoyed the same dish for dinner.


  1. This was one of the last meals my mom was able to cook for us. I remember going to Fred Meyer and paying a premium for the Golden Curry since I didn't get it at an "Asian market" like Seattle Super Market or Fou Lee. This dish holds a special place in my heart and now I know how to make it :)

    Thanks Uncle Alban.


  2. Michael -- You're welcome. I wanted to cook this dish during our last Christmas party and send some to your mom while she was at the hospital. All the stores that I usually check out for fresh seafood were all out.

    Uncle Elvin