I'm quite late in starting this year with this being my first post for 2009. A belated Happy New Year everyone!
Living in Vancouver I am treated to an abundance of fresh seafood and I am spoiled for choice. The cold, pristine waters of the West Coast offer up unmatched seafood and that says a lot coming from Australia, which some would argue has the best seafood in the world. While Australian seafood is fantastic, seafood on the West Coast is also fantastic but much less expensive.
The jewel in the West Coast seafood crown is crab -- in this case Dungeness Crab.
The sweet, succulent crab is the perfect addition to Thai fried rice. I have to admit I'm a bit of a fried rice snob. It's usually Thai-style or nothing. While the dish is very easy to make, Thais just seem to have a knack for frying the rice perfectly. The trick is to use cold, day-old steamed Jasmine rice. This helps the grains keep their shape while absorbing the flavours.
Thai fried rice has a delicious yet subtle burnt flavour. This is from the hot wok that it's fried in. And that's the other trick, to get the best results, you need to fry the rice in a wok, over a gas flame and quickly.
Thai Fried Rice with Crab
2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 extra large egg
2 1/2 cups of jasmine rice, cooked and cooled in the refrigerator overnight
1 x 1 1/2 pound of crab
1 small brown onion, thinly sliced
1 can of water chestnuts, drained and sliced
2 Tbsp of finely sliced ginger
1 Tbsp of soy sauce
1 Tbsp of Thai fish sauce
1 tsp of white sugar
2 spring onions, finely sliced for garnishing
Cucumber slices for garnish
1 lemon quartered for garnish
- Cook the rice using a rice cooker or if you're cooking it on the stove, place the rice in a saucepan with scant 5 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to low and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes or until rice is fluffy and all the water has evaporated.
- Place rice in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or even overnight. This step must be done otherwise the rice will break or be soggy.
- If you're using a whole crab, steam it until the flesh is just cooked but don't over steam it. I steamed a 1 1/2 pond crab for 12 minutes. Remove crab from steamer and cool. Once cooled, remove the flesh from shell and set aside in a bowl. Discard the shells.
- Heat the oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until light brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and place it on a plate.
- Add the egg to the wok and scramble for 1 minute. Add the onion and cooked rice. Stir for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Next add the water chestnuts, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar to the rice. Stir-fry for another minute. Add a little more fish sauce if not salty enough.
- Next add the crab and stir again until crab is mixed through.
- Spoon rice onto a serving plate and garnish with spring onions and cucumber. Serve lemon on plates for squeezing.