Cracked Curry Crab

This was one of the first crab recipes I ever tried at home, and it has never failed to delight.  Unlike most Thai curry dishes, this one uses a curry powder instead of the more traditional paste.  It's perfect with Dungeness crab for those of us lucky enough to live in crab country!

Cracked Curry Crab

Recipe adapted from The Food of Thailand.

  • 1 large live crab
  • 2/3 C coconut milk
  • 1 T light soy sauce
  • 1/2 T oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp Thai yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, cut into 3 wedges
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • cilantro leaves (optional)

Put the crab in a freezer for 1 hr.  Remove and quarter crab, with legs attached, cutting from head to rear and then from left to right.  Twist off and remove upper shell pieces, discarding the stomach sac & soft gill tissue.  Crack the claws and large segments of leg to make them easier to eat.

Mix the coconut milk, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, curry powder & sugar in a bowl.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.  Stir-fry the garlic over medium heat until light brown.  Add the crab and stir-fry for 4-5 mins.  Add the coconut mixture and onion and continue stir-frying for another 5-7 mins or until the crab meat is cooked through and the sauce is very thick.  Add green onions.  Taste, then adjust seasoning if necessary.  Spoon onto serving plate and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.  Serve with plenty of rice to sop up the sauce and chopsticks to fish out every last morsel of meat!

Serves 4.

Banana Nut Bread

I have been baking for as long as I can remember.  Banana bread, in particular, evokes memories of my childhood, when I would often be tasked with giving our too-ripe bananas new life.  I have made many iterations of banana breads over the years, but I have found that the key is to be flexible.  If you have whole wheat flour, replace some of the all-purpose flour with it.  If you have cinnamon, add it.  Consider using brown sugar instead of white.  If you don't have walnuts, try something else instead.  Here is the latest iteration that I tried, which happened to yield fabulous results.

Bourbon Banana Nut Bread

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated and my cousin Justina who so kindly shared this with me.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups roughly chopped walnuts (or pecans, or pistachios, or whatever you have on hand)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt 
  • 3 ripe bananas (1 1/2 cups) 
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse flavored sugar (optional)

Adjust rack to lower-middle and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 9x5x3" pan.

Toast or pan roast nuts for 5-10 minutes to deepen flavor.  Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and nuts; set aside. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, bourbon (if using) and vanilla with a wooden spoon.  Lightly fold the wet banana mix into the dry mix with a rubber spatula. 

Pour batter into pan and sprinkle the top with coarse flavored sugar.  Liberally, if you are so inclined.

Bake for about 55 minutes. Test in the middle to make sure it's done. If the tester comes out gooey, check another spot as you may have hit a chunk of banana, as I did.