Crab with Tamarind and Chili (Cua Rang Me)
October 17th, 2012 15 Comments

Crab with Tamarind and Chili (Cua Rang Me)

Crab with Tamarind and Chili

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Recently, my publisher Tuttle Publishing sent me a copy of their new cookbook called Little Vietnam by Nhut Huynh. I like the cookbook because I would actually use it. Some cookbooks are meant for reading, some for browsing and flipping through, while some are packed with recipes that I can see myself cooking from. This is the latter.

This crab with tamarind and chili immediately caught my attention. The reasons are simple: I am a huge fan of crab (click here to check out all my crab recipes) and the recipe looks absolutely mouthwatering and delicious. As the Dungeness crab season starts in November, this is the crab recipe that I am definitely going to try soon.

Crab with Tamarind and Chili

As the headnote suggests, it is essential to use live crab which I can’t agree more. All the crab recipes that I have featured on Rasa Malaysia call for live crab, but if you can’t find it where you are, you will have to make do with frozen crabs, but the taste and texture are not the same.

Little Vietnam

Many home cooks—despite their love for crab—almost never attempt to cook crab at home because it is intimidating to handle a live crab. This is actually quite a misconception because many Asian stores would cut up and clean the crab for you, so all you have to do is cook the crab. Even back home in Malaysia, if you ask the fish monger to clean the crab for you, they would always do that. If you do need to clean and chop up the crab yourself, this recipe offers clear step-by-step picture guide how to prepare live crab. Click here to view the steps.

This crab with tamarind and chili recipe originated from coastal Vietnam. The best way to devour the crab is to eat with your hands. Extract all the sweet crab meat from the shells, legs and claws, and lick up the delicious sauce. Bon appetit!

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15 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Christine Johnson Mayfield via Facebook says:

    Eating crab cakes in Baltimore at my grandma’s table is my favorite way to eat crab.

  2. Christine Johnson Mayfield via Facebook says:

    Eating crab cakes in Baltimore at my grandma’s table is my favorite way to eat crab.

  3. Vijitha Shyam via Facebook says:

    This dish sounds very similar to a South Indian crab dish I make. I love crabs and they are finger licking good.

  4. Stephan Wickham via Facebook says:

    Australian Mud Crab. Spiced salt water boiled or steamed and served ice chilled with butter and lemon.

  5. This looks absolutely appetising! I love crab so I will love this dish!

  6. I like Tourteau (French crab), lots of meat and roe.

  7. Crabs cooked in black pepper sauce or Singapore chili crab is fantastic!

  8. Jayne says:

    I love love love seafood too. Especially those of the shell variety. I was speaking to a friend recently and he remarked that it’s too much work to get that itty bitty piece of meat out. But for me, that’s 3/4 of the fun in having seafood, right? Getting your fingers and digging into it. We would mop up all the remaining sauce and juices with a slice of mantou or bread. Speaking of which, it’s been too long since I’ve had crab.

  9. Just boil the crabs with a bit of ginger. Serve with plain white rice. Yumm!

  10. With tamaridn and chili is the best

  11. Ira Rodrigues says:

    I never cook crab with tamarind, this is such interesting one! im hungry now:)

  12. Katie Chin says:

    This sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it!

  13. Jun says:

    I have never cooked crab myself and the only way to enjoy crab for me is the chili crab Singaporean style of Indonesian padang style. This crab dish is just so beautiful, so I will make an exception. :D

    I love Vietnamese cuisine and I think I will love this book!

  14. Caroline says:

    I have tried a few recipes from the cookbook including the crab recipe and they turned out really well. I agree that it’s one of those cookbooks with recipes that you want to eat and see yourself cooking for the family.

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