Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thai Style Crab Soup

It is Dungeness Crab season here on the West Coast and apparently these are the end all be all of crab meat. So I mosied over to my local fish shop to see what they had to offer. Sure enough, they had cooked Dungeness Crab, and it was pricey, just as I suspected, so I only bought one. The lovely man behind the counter cracked it for me so that it would be easier to pick the meat out once I got home.

If you have no qualms about being a omnivore, feel free to skip this paragraph. But as for all of you pescatarians or vegetarians who indulge in seafood occasionally let me tell you that pulling the meat out of a dead crab made me realize that this was a creature, alive and vigorous, whose muscular cavities I was now mining for my meal. It was a bit of revelation for someone who never thought of fish or seafood as "meat," primarily because as a child I was allowed to eat it on Fridays during Lent when we couldn't eat meat.

Ethics aside, the meat was sweet and succulent as I had read and I proceeded to eat half of it standing up at the counter. But catching myself and remembering that I wanted to blog about it, some did make it into this delicious and simple Thai Style soup. 

Remembering a post by Mark Bittman, I decided to adapt his Thai Style Lobster Soup and it was splendid! Thai food always shocks me how simple ingredients create such alchemy - you usually can't taste the individual flavors but together they create amazing food!

Thai Style Crab Soup (inspired by Mark Bittman's Thai Style Lobster Soup)

6 cups seafood stock (see below)
1 cup crab meat
1 stalk lemongrass, minced
1/2 jalapeno or serrano pepper, deseeded and minced
2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
10 sprigs cilantro, cut in ribbons

Heat oil and when hot add ginger, lemongrass and jalapeno and cook for 1 minute until aromatic, stirring to keep from burning. Add stock and bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and add water chestnuts, crab, fish sauce and lemon juice and bring back to boil. Add cilantro and serve.

Seafood Stock
shells from shrimp, crab, lobster, at least 2 cups or more
water to cover by 2 inches

To make stock place water and shells in large pot and bring almost to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain off liquid and discard shells. Refrigerate stock for up to 3 days or freeze for 2 months.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Pasta with Broccoli, Olives and Feta at Eats Well With Others
Banana Cream Custard Phyllo Bundles at Kalofagas
Seared Scallops on Lemon and Spinach Risotto at Sidewalk Shoes

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