When I was growing up in Malaysia, my favorite times were the many festivities that we observed. With every festivity, my late grandmother would prepare lots of food. Sometimes her younger brother’s wife—my grand aunt—would come and cook together, then exchange or share the dishes they made.
I loved the idea of exchanging food, because we got to try out new dishes, dishes that are not commonly served in our family. Plus, grand aunt was a great cook who seemed to have endless new recipes to share. One of the creations was stuffed crab, a profoundly delicious concoction that never appeared on our family’s dining table. I was a happy soul whenever grand aunt made stuffed crab. I love crab and was fascinated by the presentation of the stuffed crab…but above all, I just couldn’t resist the scrumptious filling stuffed inside the beautiful crab shells…
I don’t really know the true origin of this dish. In Penang, I have had stuffed crab at Chinese seafood restaurants. In Thailand, this dish is called poo cha. In some Chinese buffet restaurants, you can find something similar. Never mind the source of this wonderful dish, for now, it’s my favorite stuffed crab that brings back a lot of childhood memories—my late grandmother’s smiley (and contended) face after tasting the goods; my grand-aunt’s generosity in sharing her new dish; and the young and excited me when I spotted the bright red crab shells with luscious filling, sitting pretty on the dining table.
6-8 blue crab shells
8 oz ground pork
4 oz crab meat
2 oz peeled shrimp, minced
3 shallots, minced
6 coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 heavy dashes ground black pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients in the Filling and blend well. The texture of the Filling should be sticky.
Stuff the Filling into the empty crab shells using a spoon. Smooth out the surface with the back of the spoon. Steam the stuffed crab for 5 minutes. Discard the water that seeps out.
Cool the stuffed crab to room temperature after steaming. Heat up a wok with some oil. When the oil is heated, dip each crab shell into the beaten eggs. Make sure the filling is well coated with the beaten eggs. Transfer the stuffed crabs into the wok and fry them. As soon as the surface turns light to golden brown, dish out and serve immediately.
For the best result, please use freshly picked crab meat. You can use any crab of your choice. However, frozen crab meat will work just fine.
If you don’t have empty crab shells, you can still make the dish. Just divide the Filling into 6-8 portions. Flatten the Filling into a patty instead of stuffing inside the crab shell. (Next time when you eat blue crab, you can save the shell for this recipe.
love serving this stuffed crab with my favorite chili sauce, Lingham Hot Sauce.
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