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.