Crab Fried Rice

April 29, 2016

Crab Fried Rice

Crab is my favourite thing to eat, but I’ve realised you wouldn’t know it from reading this blog, and that must change. It’s both a blessing and curse for me because if I see crab on the menu, I can’t order anything else. It’s a hard life, I tell ya. Anyway, this is a recipe I wrote for Wine Trust 100, so I thought I’d share it here in the interests of upping the crab quota, and also because it tastes brilliant *scuttles away waving pincers* 

I’ve long been of the opinion that crab is the tastiest creature to walk the earth and seabed (sideways). So yes, it’s my favourite food but even if it were not, I’d still recognise that it’s far tastier than lobster, and much cheaper as a bonus. We’re at the start of the brown crab season now, which continues until around November time, so we can make the most of them all spring and summer long.

We’re all familiar with crab salads, crab on toast and crab linguine, but crab fried rice is a great way to use the crustacean that’s often overlooked – unless you’re Thai. The origins of this dish are South East Asian, then, and it makes use of lots of those familiar bright, aromatic flavourings such as ginger, coriander and chilli.

I’ve matched the dish with a Provencale rosé, pale in colour with delicate pineapple and anise herbal notes that make it just about the most moreish of rosé styles. While it’s traditionally considered an aperitif, we all know it works equally well with food, particularly creatures of the sea.

I’ve toned down the chilli heat here (which would normally be three times as punchy) so as not to hobble the wine and I think the match is an excellent one – the bright lime and coriander top notes sing and the deep umami of the crab meat shines just that bit brighter against the wine’s crisp acidity.

Crab Fried Rice Recipe (matched with 2014 Chateau la Moutete, Grand Reserve Rose)

Serves 2

250g Jasmine rice (dry weight), cooked
2.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 large eggs
150g picked white crab meat
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon Fino sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Handful fresh coriander leaves
Sliced cucumber, to serve

Heat half a tablespoon of the oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the chilli, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for around 10 seconds, just until fragrant.

Add half the rice (we don’t want to crowd the pan) then stir fry until the rice is just starting to colour and has taken on a chewy texture – a few minutes should do it. Set aside, add another half tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the remaining rice. Add the first lot of rice back to the pan and stir to combine.

Add the fish sauce, sherry or Shaoxing rice wine and soy. Stir fry to combine and cook until evaporated.

Push the rice to one side of the wok and crack in both eggs, then scramble them with your spatula, stirring until cooked. Break into pieces and combine with the rice.

Add the crab and spring onions and cook, stirring until the crab meat is warmed through. Stir in the coriander and taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary. Serve with the sliced cucumber.

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  • Reply Roy Mootoosamy April 29, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    love this idea! dont judge me please but would it work with tinned crab?

  • Reply John April 30, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Thank you for that. I am going to have to cook this for lunch today.
    We moved from Peckham Rye to near Land’s End 18 months ago and we have more crab than we know what to do with down here (and lobster and crayfish!)
    I tried making crab-cakes inspired from the recipe on the side of the Old Bay Seasoning tin (nice tip from you by the way). I used a cheap white fish mixed with brown and white crab meat and kept it simple. The old Bay rocks.
    Keep the crab recipes coming!

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves April 30, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Oh wow! I spent a lot of time down there as a child. How wonderful. I am so jealous of all the crab! Love the Old Bay, too.

  • Reply MarkG April 30, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Very nice idea and very simple recipe – a case of ‘less is more’. Any chance that you could make your recipes on your site ‘printer friendly’? I am an avid recipe magpie!

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves April 30, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Hey Mark, yeah sure let me look into it. It shouldn’t be too tricky (I hope).

      • Reply MarkG April 30, 2016 at 6:43 pm

        That would be great. Many thanks!

  • Reply Helen Tarver April 30, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Sounds delicious. Beautiful serving dish too. And that wine choice sounds just up my street, particularly as (hopefully) warmer days lie ahead. Once the snow has gone 😉

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves April 30, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Haha I know! I’m calling it snail, because it’s like snow/hail. Weird. The craziest April weather we’ve had for some years, I’d say!

  • Reply Catherine May 1, 2016 at 9:31 am

    This looks delicious.

    Crab forever, don’t get the lobster obsession.

    I was fortunate to visit St. Michaels in Maryland, known for their crab. Charming town. Put it on your bucket list.

    Have you tried Crab Thermidor?

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves May 2, 2016 at 6:35 am

      I would love to go to Maryland. I haven’t tried crab thermidor as I’m not a huge fan of cheese with seafood to be honest. Obviously I’d still eat it though!

      • Reply Catherine May 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm

        I send to think like you about Cheeseand seafood. I have starting putting cheese on top of fish fingers under the grill when I do a fish finger sandwich. McDonalds do it with their filet of fish. Works quite well I find.

  • Reply Shu Han May 3, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Love the idea sweet crab in salty, savoury fried rice. Also, had to leave a comment because– gorgeous serving plate!

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves May 3, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Ha ha, thank you! A charity shop find many years ago.

  • Reply Gillie May 4, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Howdy! Weirdy question here. I’m one of those people who are deathly allergic to shellfish. Yeah, total stick in the eye, sigh. Would this work with some type of fish?

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves May 4, 2016 at 7:09 am

      Oh no! What I would do is cook the fried rice then cook the fish separately and serve it on top, or flake it up and then mix it through. Salmon would be nice.

      • Reply Gillie May 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm

        Thanks! I have several salmon fillets in our freezer left from our last Alaskan fishing trip.

  • Reply Dan May 16, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Made this last night and it was marvelous – thank you. Also the first time I’ve ever really got egg-fried rice right, rather than a stodgy mess.

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves May 16, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Fabulous! So pleased it worked for you Dan. The method is really key with fried rice.

  • Reply Kake May 19, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    I made this the other night and really liked it, thanks! I think I’ll put more chillies in next time, but it was still good as written. I saw another recipe for this dish in Serious Eats a couple of months ago and thought “mm, interesting, might try that”, but your writeup’s what persuaded me to give it a go.

    I wasn’t sure whether the limes in the picture were there for decoration or because you’d recommend squeezing some over the rice before eating, so perhaps worth mentioning that I did squeeze some over and this really made a difference.

    I used brown jasmine rice instead of white, and the extra chew from that was very welcome. (It also made the dish rather more filling, and I was glad I’d thought to only use 200g instead of 250g.)

    You mention 2.5 Tbsp of oil in the ingredients but only use 2 x 0.5 Tbsp in the recipe — should the extra oil be put into the wok before adding the eggs? That’s what I did, anyway.

    I pondered dressing the cucumbers with something vinegar and/or garlic based, but ended up just serving them nude, which I think was the right decision.

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves May 19, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Hey! You’re right about the oil, sorry about that. Yes also the limes were there to squeeze over! So glad you did that, and so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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