Recipe: Tamarind Crab

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Due to San Francisco being smack in the middle of Dungeness crab season, I have been enjoying a lot of these sweet, succulent treasures of the sea in many forms. Yesterday I posted a recipe for Roasted Orange Garlic Crab, and today, I’m taking my crustaceans on a trip to Southeast Asia by adding some sweet and sour tamarind.

This recipe combines tamarind juice and tamarind pulp, which can be found in Latin American and Asian markets, or online. I’ve provided the online shopping links below in the ingredients list.

Tamarind Crab

1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as canola
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 can tamarind juice – (buy online)
A 3-inch by 3-inch section of Tamarind pulp, cut up in small pieces – (buy online)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 Dungeness crabs, cooked partway, cleaned, claws removed & cracked, body cut up in chunks – this helps expose as much meat to the sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves (fresh)

Add oil to wok over high heat. Add shallots and fry for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

Add the tamarind juice, tamarind pulp, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and red pepper to the wok. Bring to a boil, stirring often until mixture is reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Add crab and stir until coated with sauce and hot, about 5 minutes. Crab meat should be opaque, not translucent.

Transfer crab to a platter and sprinkle with the fried shallots and fresh cilantro. Serve with hot jasmine rice or Asian noodles.

(Image: Kathryn Hill)