Stir-fried Crabs with Chilli Jam

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Last night we made Stir-fried Crabs with Chilli Jam, from the Longrain book Modern Thai Food.

Preparation for this dish was made simple considering we had already made Chilli Jam for Longrain’s Tom Kha (this was over four months ago!). The book recommends that the Chilli Jam is kept for up to 2 months, but I think it can be kept for about 6 months no problems. They are probably just covering themselves against a lawsuit I guess!

We bought four Blue Swimmer crabs from Prahran Market – which ended up costing us $18 – less than the cost of an entree in most restaurants. Once we had the crabs, we went to The Essential Ingredient to pick up some seafood crackers and crab / lobster forks so that we could make the most of the feast we were about to indulge in.

The crabs are ready for steaming

First, we steamed the crabs for 7 minutes. Once they had cooled, they were ready to be cleaned up. This involves ripping the top part of the shell and the “tail” off, cleaning, and cutting them in half.

Mise En Place -

Mise En Place 2

The dish is surprisingly straight forward. Fry off the garlic, chilli, and kaffir lime leaves, add the chilli jam & stir fry sauce, add the crabs, cook for a few minutes, then toss through the spring onions and some thai basil.

Crabs in the wok

All up it took about half an hour. The end result was spectacular. The blue swimmer crab meat is quite sweet, and the chilli jam sauce was absolutely delicious. It took me about 15 minutes to polish it off, Ritsy took about half an hour as she wanted to make sure she got every last piece of crab out!

We simply served it with some steamed rice and a bottle of 2006 Port Phillip Estate Chardonnay. It was, without a doubt, one of the best home cooked meals yet.


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