Monday, January 2, 2012

Crab Fried Rice

Hello everybody,

Happy 2012! It's time to revisit some of those New Year resolutions, eh?

One of my New Year resolutions is to try to "eat more local." It is good to eat locally grown ingredients, but I didn't always feel this way. When I first moved to Seattle, I was always looking for exotic ingredients to cook with. What did I look for? Usually, things like sweet palm sugar from java (gula melaka), which I later found out Martha Stewart says is a key ingredient and stocks in her pantry all the time, so I guess it is not that exotic after all.  Also, for some reason, I was hung up on swordfish filets, which is a fish found in tropical and temperate waters, and I live in the Pacific Northwest. To be honest, this whole "eating local" thing sounds a little pretentious to me. What, is a conventional apple not good enough for you? You know what I mean?

But, one day I had a change of heart.  I was going to buy my usual swordfish from my local supermarket when I noticed it was especially sad looking and dried out. Looking closer, I saw a label, "Fresh-Imported from Singapore." My gosh, the fish had traveled a loooong way to Issaquah, Washington.  In my native Singapore, my mom would not even buy fish that has been dead for a few hours (I am not joking about this). I gave up eating swordfish quickly and started looking for more local options.  This is when I discovered Dungeness crabs, which are local, fresh and alive.

Dungeness crabs, unlike other crab varieties, have relatively soft shells.  They are easy to crack without breaking or wearing down your molars. Because their shells are soft, it makes it easy to take out all the meat and do something with this ingredient, like making crab cakes, or, in my case, I decided to make crab fried rice.  This dish is very easy to make and is delicious.  Every mouthful of rice is saturated with fresh, crabby flavors. So, local is better. :)  This summer, I may even try my hand at catching some with my crab pot. 

Here is the fried rice recipe, I hope you enjoy it:

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1 fresh Dungeness crab (Steam and remove all the meat, approximately 2 cups)
(If you do not want to go through the hassle of buying fresh crab meat, it is ok to use a prepared one, usually presented in a plastic tub or brined.)
1 clove garlic-chopped or minced
2 Eggs
1 cup cooked long grain rice
2 tablespoon peanut oil (Always look for cold, expeller pressed oils.)
2 sprigs Green Onions
Key Limes (For garnishing)

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground white pepper (Ok to subtitute with black pepper)

1) In a hot wok, add the peanut oil and heat for about 2 mins.  Drop the beaten egg into the oil and fry it until it is firm.  Break up the egg into small pieces.

2) Next, add the chopped garlic and stir fry together with the eggs, about 1 min.  Then add the crab meat.  Stir fry for another 1 min.

3) Add the cooked rice and stir fry.

4) Add all the seasonings.  Note, crab meat can come in varying degrees of flavors and saltiness.  The seasonings given here are approximate.  You can adjust according to taste and also to the flavor of the crab meat.

5) Add the green onion last.

6) Continue stir frying until the ingredients are heated through.

7) Serve with lime wedges.

A original

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